Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary annually coordinates a group of community scientists to collect data for Audubon's Christmas Bird Count. Now in its 121st year thanks to the dedication of thousands of volunteers, the annual Christmas count provides a crucial, long-term dataset about birds to help scientists understand population trends.
This year, 45+ socially-distant volunteers collected data on the numbers and species of birds seen within the Corkscrew Swamp count circle, which includes locations from Lake Trafford to Oil Well Road.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's public program coordinator, Sally Stein, is an official Count Circle Compiler and leads a group every year. This year, her group of four volunteers recorded a total of 56 species using habitats in the area around the north end of the Sanctuary.
Highlights from their list include four Glossy Ibis, three Painted Buntings, two Mourning Doves, and a Short-tailed Hawk! The most numerous species recorded? Tree Swallows! The group counted 227 of those, followed by 95 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 91 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and 74 Turkey Vultures. The small group of four counted a total of 1,097 birds in one day! The total number of species seen by teams participating in the Corkscrew Swamp count circle was 114. Stein will compile all of the numbers to submit for the international total.
Audubon's Christmas Bird Count occurs from December 14 to January 5 every year. Learn more about the count.