Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;

November 2013 Prez Sez


Christmas Bird Count:  can we count on you to help?

Our numbers are dwindling and some of those that we are losing are among the most active.  We need to recruit new volunteers to help the club and also for citizen science projects such as the Christmas Bird Count and Winter Shorebird Survey.  Citizen Science is important because VOLUNTEERS gather and provide  the data to be used by scientists who will then analyze them.  The resulting reports show the health of the bird populations and help inform decisions by regulators and lawmakers about conservation issues.

CBC results for the lat 40 years were compiled by hundreds of thousands of volunteers and analyzed by the science staff at National Audubon to produce a Feb 2009 report  that studied 305 bird species.  Of these, 58% of the species (or 177) moved northward in their migration during the first weeks of winter.  Sixty of the species moved 100 miles north or more.  There was also a movement inland from warmer coastal states to areas not long accustomed to winter temps suitable for their new arrivals. 

In the Nov-Dec 2013 Audubon magazine there is a story by Katherine Bagley about one effect of these changes in migration patterns - hybridization.  Specifcally cited is the recent frequent hybridization of golden-winged warblers with blue-winged warblers.  But not just birds.  Polar Bears are mating with Grizzly bears.  In addition, several species of whales, porpoises and seals and interbreeding, including hooded and harp seals, Dall's and harbor porpoises and beluga whales and narwhals. 

There is little doubt that these behaviors are at least in part the result of climate change.  The question is whether the behaviors will result in greater competition for food or even extinction as opposed to adaptive responses.

Scientists will answer these questions but much of the data will come from volunteers like you.  Please join us.
If you would like to help with the Christmas Bird Count on Jan 4th,  please contact Dick and Gail at 428-0447.

Club officers needed.

We have also lost our secretary and our education/outreach/publicity chair.  Please help us keep the club going.