Home
Field Notes
 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge a Big Contributor to Record Christmas Bird Counts in Southwest Indiana
Midwest Region, December 22, 2012
Print Friendly Version
The Golden Eagle, a rare visitor to Indiana in the winter, was seen on both Christmas Bird Counts!
The Golden Eagle, a rare visitor to Indiana in the winter, was seen on both Christmas Bird Counts! - Photo Credit: Steve Gifford
A predatory songbird, the Loggerhead Shrike, was documented by birdwatchers on the Oakland City Christmas Bird Count.
A predatory songbird, the Loggerhead Shrike, was documented by birdwatchers on the Oakland City Christmas Bird Count. - Photo Credit: Steve Gifford

Birdwatchers are still abuzz from the amazing diversity of bird life discovered during the Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count season for 2012-2013, with two counts in Southwest Indiana documenting record numbers of bird species. The diversity of habitats provided by Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Cane Ridge Wildlife Management Area, both managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, were invaluable for many of the raptors, waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds discovered on both counts.

The Western Gibson County Count, west of Princeton, Ind. and highlighted by Cane Ridge WMA, amassed 107 species, while the Oakland City Count, which includes Patoka River NWR, recorded 101 species, ranking them first and third in the state of Indiana, respectively. Highlights from the counts included a Golden Eagle, hundreds of Sandhill Cranes, a Loggerhead Shrike (a rare predatory songbird), and thousands of Snow Geese.

The Western Gibson and Oakland City Counts were two of nearly 2,000 Christmas Bird Counts conducted throughout the country from mid-December through early January. All counts are coordinated by the National Audubon Society with an emphasis on obtaining valuable bird population data and trends. The goal of an individual Christmas Bird Count is to document all the bird species seen (or heard) within an established 15 mile diameter count circle.

This season’s Christmas Bird Counts provide further documentation of how valuable the habitat of Southwestern Indiana is for a wide diversity of bird species. In addition, the data provides further evidence that the habitat restoration and conservation efforts undertaken by organizations like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are providing fruitful results. Continued improvements are slowly making Southwestern Indiana a birding mecca of the Midwest.


Contact Info: Heath Hamilton, 812-749-3199, heath_hamilton@fws.gov



Send to:
From:

Notes:
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State




Search by Region


US Fish and Wildlife Service footer