Thursday, December 14, 2006

100 + Bird Species

By the traffic we see in our backyard feeders, close to the Parkway, I can believe this number.

Carlos Alcalá: Published 12:00 am PST Thursday, December 14, 2006
For the birds:

How many bird species can you name? How many do you think live around here? The annual American River Natural History Association wildlife count came up with a surprising answer to the latter. If you ask most people, "they'd probably say 10 or 12 (species), and we had 106," said Jack Hiehle, who helped coordinate the count along the river between Nimbus Dam and Discovery Park. For 22 years, volunteers have found between 101 and 110 species each year. "Most people don't realize what we've got here," Hiehle said. In this year's count, that included three species known in the area, but not seen in the parkway before: Swainson's hawk, the northern pygmy owl and tricolored blackbirds. A more common bird also provided a surprise. Spotters tallied 79 turkeys. All but two were males. Go figure....