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STATES CHRONICLE – The Annual Bird Count which takes place every year around Christmas revealed the number of birds which were spotted during this whole period since it started. At the top of the list, birdwatchers named the bohemian waxwing, while there were also listed other numerous birds like red-breasted nuthatch and black-capped chickadees. The results of the 58th Christmas Bird Count conducted by the Anchorage Audubon Society were released on December 23.
Approximately 7,857 of the number of Bohemian waxwings were counted by volunteers. They have reported 38 species and about 20,600 birds. The total number of species and birds was average. Even if waxwings appeared to be the most numerous species, they did not surpass the record established by them back in 2009 when the figures showed 22,245 birds.
Back in 1984, there were counted the most species ever since this bird count became an annual practice. A veteran volunteer who participates at this event every year since 1980, Thede Tobish, stated that Bohemian waxwings appear to top the list almost every year. They are known by the locals to spend their time here until they consume all the berries. Then, they fly away.
All in all, this year, nine species managed to achieve all-time increased counts. The species are the following ones: European Starling, Pacific Wren, American Dipper, brown creeper, red-breasted nuthatch, boreal chickadee, black-capped chickadee, great horned owl and common merganser. There were identified two species of birds which were seen for the first time. They are known as the song sparrow and the American kestrel.
The first one was spotted nearby R Street and the other one at Ted Stevens International Airport. Dave Delap was one of the participants who took part at 56 annual bird counts up until this moment. He argued that many things have changed since he first participated in this event. He explains that in the past there were no mallards in this area and now many robins seem to remain here over the winter, despite the cold weather.
At the level of the whole nation, the Christmas Bird Count appears to be the longest resident science project, dating back to 1900s. That was the year when Frank Chapman planned a Christmas bird census meant to annihilate hunting and fuel the counting of birds.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia