Kodiak Regains Top Bird-Spotting Status


Jay Barrett/KMXT

Local birders will be out in force again this weekend to do the second of two annual bird counts around Kodiak. The Narrow Cape and Kalsin Bay count will be on Saturday. After the recent Kodiak bird count, Rich Macintosh compiled the sighting reports brought in by the 61 volunteers, most of whom braved extremely inclement weather.

— (Birds 1 40 sec "It went remarkably well considering … well with the lousy weather.")

He says there were very good counts this year in back yard bird feeders:

— (Birds 2 37 sec "We had a lot of sparrows … 16 feeders we had on the count.")

In addition to feeders, Kodiak birders go out in teams to count along the road system, from two boats along the shore and even in the backcountry:

— (Birds 3 16 sec "Amazingly we had one ptarmigan … on the part of Patrick Saltonstall.")

Macintosh says that very exotic birds from Asia were not seen this year, despite the series of Pacific storms that have blown through this fall. He says that if there were any, they might have been blown onto the Kenai Peninsula and elsewhere on the mainland. Nevertheless, he said there are always some rare birds that show up:

— (Birds 4 29 sec "But there’s nothing terribly exotic … have been fairly unusual.")

The good count this year has boosted Kodiak back up to the number one spot for birding in the state, after Ketchikan counted more species the past four years:

— (Birds 5 22 sec "I don’t know what happened down … we waxed them.")

Macintosh says the Narrow Cape – Kalsin Bay count scheduled for tomorrow is smaller, and is actually full, since only a limited number of qualified group leaders are available.

Last year throughout the Americas there were 60,000 participants in over 2,000 counts. You can find more information on the bird count, which has happened around Christmas for the last 112 years, at Audubon.org.


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