By Irene Perry
Skagit Audubon Volunteers make a difference for birds: CBC and PUMA project Updates
The results of the 2015 Christmas Bird Count are in and can be found on our website under the heading Birding. Fifty-nine volunteers participated recording 131 species for a total of 126,029 birds. Four species had the highest numbers recorded. These include Canada Goose 395, Mourning Dove 167, Anna's Hummingbird 63 and Golden-crowned Sparrow 852. One species was a new addition to our CBC records, King Eider. Species with the highest totals were ducks, American Wigeon 30,559 and Northern Pintail 27,641. Results of CBC are used by
ornithologists to study population trends including numbers and movement. CBC data is helping scientists understand the effects of climate change on bird species. Special thanks to Tim Manns and Alice Turner who organized the 2015 CBC and to Bob Kuntz for his continued efforts compiling and submitting our Chapter's data.
Turning to our spring project, volunteers have completed 24 new nesting boxes for the Purple Martin Project. Installation of these boxes will be scheduled for a low tide in mid-April. Train- ing for monitoring nesting boxes will be scheduled after the boxes are installed. If you are interested in volunteering to be a monitor, please contact me at email@example.com. You will be asked to observe the nesting site over the breeding period May through July. Purple Martins nest in cavities and will use manmade nesting boxes. They return year after year to successful nesting sites. Their numbers are increasing in Skagit County. Providing man-made nesting alternatives gives these birds a chance against the more aggressive House Sparrow and European Starling cavity competitors. Thank you to Mark Perry for organizing the PUMA project. Special thanks to Frontier Lumber of Anacortes, members Jerry Scultzler, Fred Hodge, and Jim Redding, who contributed to building 24 boxes with more on the way!