Join the annual island bird census

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 10:15pm

The following was sent in by The Nature Conservancy:

You just never know what time in the field when birds will turn up. Please join Kim Gaffett, OVF Naturalist at The Nature Conservancy, in some, or all, of the 17th Annual Community Bird Census activities on Tuesday, Dec. 26.

Community Bird Census is an event held each year on that date (traditionally the day that Elizabeth Dickens led the Christmas Bird Counts). This event encourages all who are interested in birds and enjoying the beauty of the Island to spend part of the day keeping track of the birds they see. The short-term result of the day’s observations is the compilation of an island-wide bird list comprised of the sightings of many citizen scientists. In the long term, these annual bird counts continue the work of Elizabeth Dickens and contribute to a much larger body of information.

All levels of participation are encouraged, from watching your bird feeder to traipsing the Island. For details about Community Bird Census, see the schedule below.

Feel free to participate as much or as little as you would like.

1. Meet at 9 a.m. at Sachem Pond, where a spotting scope will be available for some early morning duck watching, and join with others to make a plan for a day of birding.

2. Bird Walk led by Kim Gaffett at a location will be determined based on wind and weather.

3. During the middle of the day, participants will employ whatever means desirable to make a list of birds seen that day. The options for making these observations range from taking one or more walks, to watching your bird feeder from the warmth of your house.

4. At 4 p.m., reassemble at Island Free Library to compare notes, to start to compile the community list, and to revel in the stories of the day.

Anyone wishing to call in his or her Block Island observations may call Kim Gaffett at 466-2224 or email