Other Conservation Activities
Climate Watch volunteers needed – May 15 to June 15
Can you identify any of the birds pictured at the National Audubon Society’s Climate Watch website? If so, then you can be a volunteer in this important research project aimed at understanding how species are moving across the landscape, as they adjust to global warming.
This biannual event, which launched in 2016, has been aimed primarily at monitoring several species of bluebirds and nuthatches, but this year goldfinches, towhees, and Painted Buntings have been added to the watch list.
Click to learn how you can participate in the upcoming Climate Watch, which will run from May 15 to June 15!
The numbers are in! As part of the 119th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC), twelve volunteers participated in the local count day on December 16. Working in small groups, they covered a 15-mile circle centered in Muncie. The final tally: 2,684 individual birds representing 43 species.
The “winner,” at 889 individual birds, was the European Starling (a non-native species), followed by 443 Canada Geese and 338 Rock Pigeons. A pleasant surprise for several counters was spotting four Northern Mockingbirds in different parts of our count area, and three Bald Eagles were seen in two different areas.
Click to see the full tally of birds seen this year. Participants in last year’s 2017 CBC in Muncie recorded 53 species and 5,289 individual birds, markedly higher than the latest results.
Our local count numbers have already become part of the national CBC results, which are available at the National Audubon Society website.
The National Audubon Society conducted the first Christmas Bird Count in 1900, making it the Western Hemisphere’s longest-running wildlife census and one of the world's greatest ongoing citizen-science efforts. Scientists use the data gathered to help track trends in bird populations and address conservation issues.
Special thanks to RCAS board member Jim Schowe, who coordinated the count, and all our other volunteer counters: Jim Flowers, Sandy Ho, Taiping Ho, Martha Hunt, Catherine Pauls Kubo, Kim McKenzie, Nona Nunnelly, Annette Rose, Barb Stedman, Susan Tomizawa, and John Wilkins.
The Friends of the Limberlost organization (Geneva, Ind.) is erecting a Chimney Swift tower, thanks in part to materials donated by our chapter. More details and photos will be coming soon!
Because of old growth forest loss and and the capping or destruction of chimneys, artificial towers can provide Chimney Swifts with much-needed nesting and roosting habitat.
If you'd like to learn how to build and erect a Chimney Swift tower on your property, visit www.chimneyswitfts.org.