Mariton: Migratory Bird Census

May 12, 2013

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Migratory Bird Census 2013

Mariton held its Migratory Bird Census on Saturday.  During normal years May 12 is very close to the peak of the migration for neo-tropical birds.  It is one reason that the Big Days are scheduled this weekend.  This spring, I think the birds are a little later than usual.  (Last year they were really early.)  For me this has been a wonderful spring.  The flowers have been glorious and have stayed in bloom for extended periods.  I am thinking that the bird migration might be similar, and we will be able to enjoy these migrants as they extend their visit to our area.

MEBUS OvenbirdSingingSqueezeTrailMaritonMigrationCount0511

Jubilant Ovenbird.  Photo by Carole Mebus.

Our count was very successful.  We counted 48 species and 254 individuals.  Ovenbirds were the most abundant.  We counted 24, and heard them everywhere we walked.  An immature Bald Eagle passing over was a pleasant surprise.  Mariton is also in the flight path of Great Blue Herons.  So, even though we don’t have water on the preserve, we counted 7 flying over. 

The weather forecast was iffy at best.  I got up at 5:30 a.m. to fret about the weather as usual.  I analyzed the forecasts from several stations, as well as the radar loops.  I figured that we would be okay until 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. before the rain moved in.  So, I sent out an email that the census was on.  I shouldn’t worry so much; it was a good hour after everyone had left before we saw the first raindrops here.