OUTSIDE: Winter is coming, it’s time to count the birds | Sports

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The juncos have arrived, according to their flight patterns. My black-eyed juncos spend the summer in Canada’s boreal forests. They come and stay in the winter, then fly north the second week of May. The return dates for winter, historically, are the second week of October.

This year, a flock of 25 birds landed on October 12. As a professional bird watcher I know when they are coming.

I have kept a bird diary for decades, so these winter birds are accurately noted. For my young readers, a pencil is an instrument that makes notes on paper. A pen also works like this. And, they’re both fun to hold.

On their arrival, the juncos feed in large herds, then disperse; however, 10 to 15 birds overwinter.

Migration is a mystery, although we continue to learn more. Soon we’ll be putting little transistors on the birds’ backs and eavesdropping on their flight movements, or listening to their playlist.

I did not feed my birds (they are indeed mine) this summer due to an alert from the southern states that there had been quite a few feeder deaths that could not be assessed.

Birds are entertainment for me. I could give up a summer of watching.

As of November 14, Project FeederWatch is starting a new season and my feed stations in my garden are full.

The FeederWatch project is a bird survey throughout the winter. You don’t have to be a biologist to help with an essential data collection process.

Why do I sign up for this project every year? Because our natural world always benefits from education, and being aware of what’s going on in your own backyard is where you can be the teacher.

With recent news of the net loss of nearly 3 billion birds in the United States and Canada since 1970, it is more vital than ever that citizen scientists monitor their own backyard birds.

It is important to keep bird populations under control, and what better way to do this than to have a consistent bird count in the field.

If you feed the birds, your feathered friends regularly gobble up seeds. Now is the perfect time to count them. By entering data every year in one place, you are the perfect biologist – the avian expert, so to speak.

The most exciting part about this survey is that it can include the whole family. What better way to introduce young people to the excitement of bird watching and identification? It is a fantastic teaching method, right at home. You can nickname it “home schooling for birds”. No electronic device is needed or encouraged to count … and hurray for that!

Your instructions are to count the birds that appear on your counting site because of something you have provided (crops, food or water). For each species, you will only report the greatest number of individuals you see at the same time.

You choose two consecutive days to count the birds. You can count as often as every week; however, you can only count two days. It’s up to you. I will do two accounts, one in January and the other in February.

What’s really interesting is that your personal counts are compiled online based on location, time, weather conditions, and the total number of species for your counting days. It’s fun to go back 15 years and see who made the cut and who wasn’t there for those two consecutive days.

The 2021-22 season begins on November 14 and continues through April. During this time, send your counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data helps scientists track large-scale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.

New participants receive a research kit with full instructions for participating, as well as a bird identification poster and more. You provide the feeders and the seeds. Then, each fall, participants receive our 16-page year-end report, “Winter Bird Highlights”. Participants also receive the Cornell Lab of Ornithology newsletter.

There is an annual participation fee of $ 18 for US residents, or $ 15 for Cornell Lab members. The participation fee covers materials, staff support, web design, data analysis, and year-end report. The FeederWatch project is funded almost entirely by participation fees. Without the support of the participants, this project would not be possible.

With each season, FeederWatch grows in importance as a unique monitoring tool for more than 100 bird species that winter in North America.

Because FeederWatch participants count the number of individuals of each species they see multiple times during the winter, FeederWatch data is powerful in detecting and explaining gradual changes in the wintering grounds of many. cash.

New video on DEC’s YouTube channel

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation has added a new video to the I FISH NY Guide to Freshwater Fishing video series on its YouTube channel. With fish commonly found in local ponds and freshwater lakes, new anglers can learn to correctly identify their catch.

Want to provide feedback or share ideas for future videos? Send an email to [email protected]

ECOs find Lake Ontario violators and lay charges

On October 21, DEC Region 8 environmental conservation officers participated in a detail on Lake Ontario targeting the illegal harvest of fish during spawning runs. Officers patrolled tributaries from Orleans to Wayne County looking for illegal activity.

ECOs Baker and Muchow, who were posted to eastern Monroe County, intercepted anglers to inspect their catch. Officers found a fisherman with 40 salmon, five rainbow trout and seven walleye piled up in bins in the corner of his van. The remaining fishermen were found with 10 salmon in a cart.

The CEOs issued five tickets to the group that can be surrendered to the City of Rochester Court. The charges include illegal marketing of fish, exceeding the salmon limit, catching undersized walleye and fishing without a license.

Chris Kenyon’s “Outdoors” appears in all other weekend editions. Contact Chris at (315) 879-1341 or [email protected]


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