Bird Club has successful count
The Baldwin Bird Club conducted its 60th annual Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by the National Audubon Society, Dec. 29. There were 26 people divided into eight parties that traveled the roads and fields within a 7.5-mile radius circle centered at the junction of U.S. Highways 56 and 59.
Between 5:45 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. the group identified 85 species. The average over the past ten years has been 65.5 species and the high was set in 1999 at 89 species. The total number of individuals recorded was 11,827. There was one new species recorded for the count by Calvin Cink. His party identified a Carolina Chickadee. The common chickadee in the area is the Black-capped Chickadee. The Carolina Chickadee is common to the southeastern United States but commonly occurs in a number of counties in the southeastern part of Kansas. Roger Boyd also added a new species to the count, but it was seen during the week of the count rather than on the day of the count. That bird was a single White-winged Crossbill. The only other time this species has been seen in Baldwin was in 1982 at the home of Katharine Kelley.
The species with the highest number of individuals counted was American Robin with 2,276. Other high numbers included European Starling with 1,533 and Canada Goose with 1,190. The group did set some other high records for the history of the count: Pied-billed Grebe, 22; Wood Duck, 13; Gadwall, 284; American Wigeon, 23; Greater Scaup, 60; Common Goldeneye, 115; Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 7; Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 5; Yellow-rumped Warbler, 60. All of these were record numbers. Almost all waterfowl were seen at Lone Star Lake which is located in the northwestern portion of the count circle.
The weather was not particularly pleasant with a low of 10 and high of 25 degrees. In addition, windy conditions made it more difficult to find the birds. The Christmas Bird Count is conducted each year within a two week period around Christmas and New Years. The results are tabulated and published by the National Audubon Society. The record serves as a means to determining year to year or long term changes in bird populations. The participants on the 2001 count included Richard Bean, Jan and Roger Boyd, Bill Busby, Cal Cink, Pinky Hayes, Katharine Kelley, Michelle Knoll, Bootsie Lauridsen, Shari McDougal, Barbara and Martin Pressgrove, Floyd Schmidt, all of Baldwin; Kyle Gerstner, Linda Lips, Gerry Parkinson, Margaret, Phil and Roy Wedge of Lawrence; John Brockway of Ottawa; Dan Gish of Topeka; and Grace Brewer, James Brockway, Marshall Miller, Larry Williams, and Heather Woods of Kansas City. We invite you to join us next year.