Mariton: Migratory Bird Census

May 19, 2022

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager.  Photos by Carole Mebus.  

An Eastern Towhee male perched on a branch.

Eastern Towhee. Photo by Carole Mebus.

Last Saturday was Mariton’s Migratory Bird Census.  This was the 30th year in a row that we’ve conducted the census.  That is pretty amazing when you think about it.  We ended up with 53 species during a 4.5 hour period.  We also counted 238 different birds.  Again, pretty impressive.

A Wood Thrush singing.

Wood Thrush. Photo by Carole Mebus.

We had 23 Wood Thrushes.  This year we hit a couple flocks of Blue Jays, so they tied the Wood Thrushes for the most abundant species.  Tied for second were Scarlet Tanagers and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at 15 each.  Ovenbirds came in at 10 birds.

I had great volunteers as always, and couple with younger ears that were able to detect some species that I can no longer hear.  We ended up with 11 warbler species, counting the Ovenbirds.  We also got all five of the common woodpeckers at Mariton.

A House Wren perched on a wooden post.

House Wren. Photo by Carole Mebus.

With 30 years of data, the average species count is 50, with a high of 58 species in 2006.  The highest number of birds we counted during the period was 418 in 2001.  But in 2001, we had two teams of birders, and doubled the size monitored.  The average is 266.  This has been a lot of fun for me to do this census.