CLEWISTON, FL -- Area bird watchers spotted scores of thousands of birds in the Hendry and Glades county area recently, taking part in an annual countrywide bird count. In the Clewiston area 47,000 birds were counted with 90 different species identified. Around LaBelle 476 birds in 41 species were counted. 427 birds were counted in the Moore Haven area including 17 species.
In just four days in February, participants in the Great Backyard Bird Count tallied more than 11 million birds across the United States and Canada. Together, they recorded 616 species and submitted more than 80,000 checklists33 percent more than the previous high of 61,000 checklists in 2000. The GBBC, a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, engages people of all ages and levels of experience in learning about birds and reporting their sightings for conservation.
American Robins topped the list as the most numerous species counted, with more than two million robins reported from 60 states and provinces. Participant Lorraine Margeson counted a flock of 750,000 robins roosting in a mangrove forest in St. Petersburg, Florida. "In the morning, the robins just pour out of there," she observed. "It's spectacular with the sunrise on their red bellies. When you see it, you think this is what makes life worth living."
This year's rare birds included five Lesser Prairie-Chickens in Oklahoma and two Pink-footed Geese in Rhode Island, first records for the GBBC.
Participants also submitted more than 4,000 bird photos. The GBBC online photo gallery shows images from across the continent, including a Rock Pigeon perched high above New York City, and a pink Roseate Spoonbill taking flight in Houston, Texas. Full results of the count are available online at www.birdcount.org . Visitors can see what birds were reported in their own town or across the continent, and explore dynamic maps showing how bird distribution and abundance have changed during 10 years of the Great Backyard Bird Count.
See Bird Count For Any City