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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sanibel-Captiva FL Christmas Bird Count 2015, bird numbers down!

Osprey with fish

This is not NH, where I'm from, it's Captiva, FL with high winds and cold, just for a day.
I am recording the numbers of birds we see today.

So many Ospreys, 69 total, many circling overhead at once, what a treat!

Don, left, and Steve Oresman are the rest of our team, counting the birds on the northern tip of Captiva, FL.

Line ups of Double-crested Cormorants and Brown Pelicans.

And these Turkey Vultures posed nicely, adult on left, juvenile on right.

Hiding in mangroves out of the wind was this juvenile Tri-colored Heron.

In a blow-your-hats-off wind sending temps dropping, we did the Sanibel-Captiva Christmas Count yesterday and numbers of birds were way down. Myself, Don and Steve Oresman covered the tip of Captiva. My favorites were the 69 Ospreys, so many constantly circling overhead made counting a challenge. We also had 369 Brown Pelicans, no rarities. We only had 37 species and the whole of the Sanibel-Captiva Count had 88 species (14,494 individuals) whereas last year the count had 102 species (14,154 individuals). Evidently Ding Darling NWR was hopping with Ibis, herons and shorebirds as the high winds made for exposed tidal flats just right for feeding. It has been unseasonably hot and humid here (except yesterday). Not many land birds. What crazy weather, caused by this strong El Nino season.

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