Vineyard Christmas Bird Count

We had a beautiful day on Saturday, Jan. 5 for the Vineyard’s forty-eighth consecutive Christmas Bird Count. We beat Nantucket, sort of, but more on that later. It was a day of fair weather with a bit of wind, but no rain or fog to dampen the birds’ or birders’ spirit. We had a great turnout with 69 field participants including six from Nantucket, a couple from Cape Cod and a couple from the Boston area.

Snow Fallen, Bird Counters Never Surrender

Down an unplowed path in West Tisbury behind an ox pen sits a house at the edge of the woods. The bitterly cold morning has not yet broken and the snow is glowing a pale moonlit blue, but inside the lights are on and the tenants are restless. Bob Woodruff is preparing his team for the 50th annual Martha’s Vineyard Christmas Bird Count, delayed this year until Jan. 5 by the weather.

He slaps an aerial photograph of the Island on his kitchen table and surveys it like a military general.

Christmas Bird Count Yields 119 Species

Volunteers at this year’s Christmas Bird Count spotted 119 species, according to Gazette bird columnist Susan Whiting, a cocompiler of the annual event on the Island. Though the species count was similar to recent years, the number of individual birds spotted, 21,730, was lower than in most counts of late. In 2010, only 15,926 individual birds were counted, due to few participant, but in 2009 32,114 individual birds were recorded. In 2008, that number was nearly 83,000.

51st Christmas Bird Count

It was warm and foggy all day, but the 51st annual Christmas Bird Count held on Jan. 2 was a great success. There were 77 observers — 48 in the field divided into 11 teams, each covering a different part of the Island, and 29 more at home watching their bird feeders.

Vineyard Annual Bird Count: 21,787

The 52nd annual Martha’s Vineyard Christmas Bird Count was held on Monday, Jan. 2. The weather was less than ideal. While the temperatures were warm, between 40 and 52 degrees, a westerly wind was brutal, a steady 15-20 miles per hour with frequent gusts up to 35 miles per hour. We recorded 21,787 individuals of 120 species.

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