Bird count is Saturday

January 01, 2003 11:00 pm

Bird counters will be out for the second count of the winter season — this time it will be Saturday in Calaveras County.

Calaveras birders have 14 regions that need to be covered.

After Calaveras' count, there will be a potluck and time to fill out birding paperwork. To participate, call Patty Raggio at 754-0164 or 795-8270.

The Central Sierra Chapter of the National Audubon Society participated in a count in Tuolumne County in late December.

Some 54 volunteer counters turned out for the national society's 103rd annual Christmas Bird Count — the 17th year Mother Lode birders took part.

Although the county's bird population seemed to be down in some areas of the 15-mile counting area because of poor accessibility in snowy areas, the tally was 21,964 birds. Last year's was 18,794.

About 111 different species were found, fewer than last year's 120 species.

John Turner of the local Audubon Society chapter said there were differences in the species count.

There were significantly fewer Canada geese, turkey vultures, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, California and mountain quail, killdeer, Anna's hummingbirds, ruby-crowned kinglets, robins, hermit thrushes, yellow-rumped warblers, lark sparrows and American goldfinches.

Increased numbers of Barrow's goldeneyes, wild turkeys, band-tailed pigeons, rock doves (pigeons), mourning doves, horned larks, Steller's jays, cedar waxwings, California and spotted towhees, white-crowned sparrows and dark-eyed juncos were all spotted, however.