Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival – 2013 Big Spit Plus Challenge

The Kachemak Bay Birders would like to thank everyone who participated in, or donated prizes to, this year's (2013) Big Spit Plus Challenge during the 21st Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.  The event could not have occurred without you.  This year's Big Spit Plus was expanded in time (2.5 days) and location (Stariski River South to Homer and East to Fox River Flats and trips on the waters of Kachemak Bay). 

Participanting teams and the number of birds observed

YOUTH

1st Place: Mr. Whitekeys and Friends found 80 species

            Grace, Damien, Eve, Atlas, and Max Burke

2nd Place: Birding Buntings found 55 species

            Nolan and Landon Bunting

FAMILY/MIXED GROUP

1st Place: Pedaling Plovers found 104 species

            Erick and Lori Paulsrud

2nd Place: Many Sparrows found 57 species

            Silas, Aurora and Anna Firth

Participation: Family Big Year found 41 species

            Mike, Jen, Katie and Rosie McCrudden

 

DONORS

Bay Excursions (Karl Stoltzfus)–discounts on trips out on the Bay

Gary Lyon–print

Kachemak Crane Watch?gift certificates to the Homer Book Store

Kachemak Bay Conservation Society?youth prizes and bags

Captain's Coffee?beverage coupons

Don Jose's?gift certificate for a meal

Cosmic Kitchen–gift certificate for a meal

Two Sisters–gift certificate for a meal

Fat Olive's–gift certificate for a meal

 

Thank you everyone

Bird Window Strikes

Over 270 species of birds in the United States and Canada have been documented striking windows, and each year millions of birds die from striking windows.

 

The Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania is working on project identifying bird window collisions and they would like you help. The college, however, is only looking for information on those birds not currently on their list of bird window strikes. The list of birds they have documented as striking windows is available on their website.

 

For more information on how to report a bird strike or for a list of birds already identified, check out their website: 

http://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/academics/biology//faculty/klem/ACO/GlassHome.htm

 

For more information on how to prevent window strikes go to the American Bird Conservancy's website: http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/collisions/glass.html where you can download their brochure on what you can do to prevent window strikes.

Color Bands on Birds

Have you ever been out bird watching and noticed that one of the birds has color bands on one or both legs?

According to Alaska Audubon, researchers attach color and numeric markers to birds to track individual birds. With color bands, each bird receives a unique combination of colors. For some birds, color bands are placed on their leg(s).  For some large waterfowl, such as swans, researchers use collars instead of bands. For large soaring birds, such as golden eagles, researchers may use wing tags. These are large number tags attached to the wings so they are visible when the birds fly high overhead.

Banding helps us understand where birds migrate, where they may stop along the way, and where they spend the winter away from Alaska. Finding these locations is essential to maintaining healthy bird populations. If there is habitat loss at stopover sites along migration routes or on wintering grounds, that affects the populations of birds in Alaska.

It is important for researchers to know where these birds are spotted. If you come across a bird with color bands on its leg(s), write the colors down in order (top to bottom), and be sure to note if they’re on the right or left leg. For birds with collar bands or wing tags, write down the number. The information recorded should be submitted to the U.S. Geological Survey, North American Bird Banding Program at:

http://www.reportband.gov/

Citizen Science Opportunities

Citizen Scientists Needed

Not a wildlife biologist, but would love to participate in bird or habitat monitoring?  The individuals and organizations below could use your participation in one or more of the following citizen science projects. To learn more about each of the projects, just click on the link below for the project that interests you.

  • Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring
  • Alaska Loon and Grebe Watch Monitoring Program
  • Christmas Bird Count
  • Coastal Observation And Seabird Survey Team (COASST)
  • Great Backyard Bird Count
  • eBird
  • Nest Watch
  • Project Feederwatch
  • Yard-map

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring

Count and record shorebirds arriving at Kachemak Bay during spring migration (mid-April to late-May)

For more information: Kachemak Bay Birders – George Matz at geomatz@alaska.net

Alaska Loon and Grebe Watch Monitoring Program

Record Loon and Grebe observations at your lake or a nearby lake (late May to late August)

For more information: http://aknhp.uaa.alaska.edu/zoology/citizen-science/alaska-loon-grebe-watch/

Christmas Bird Count

With a team count birds in a particular radius on a particular day in December
For more information: National Audubon Society http://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count

Local Contact: Dave Erikson at derikson@alaska.net or Lani Raymond at lani67@alaska.net

COASST – Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team

Walk an assigned area of beach monthly and record any dead birds found (year round).

For more information: http://depts.washington.edu/coasst/

Great Backyard Bird Count

Count the number and kinds of birds seen at least 15 minutes on one or more the days 4 count days in mid February.

For more information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology http://gbbc.birdcount.org/

eBird

Record and submit your personal checklist of birds seen at any time and any location

For more information: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/

Nest Watch

Observe and record any nests/eggs/babies observed in natural habitat or in nest boxes during breeding season (April through August in Alaska)

For more information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology http://nestwatch.org/

Project Feeder Watch

Count and record birds seen at your feeders (November to April)

For more information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology http://feederwatch.org/

YardMap

Record bird habitat in your yard (or other area)

For more information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology http://content.yardmap.org/