Great Backyard Bird Count at SWNP

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Jim Frisinger, leader

Join us, Saturday, Feb. 13, as we count birds at the Southwest Nature Preserve at 5201 S. Bowman Springs Road, Arlington.
All ages and skill sets are welcome. We all learn by birdwatching with others. The count begins at 8 a.m.and lasts until 10 a.m. It is part of a worldwide event.

We will be social distancing as we wander through the preserve. Everyone should wear a mask so we can observe safely during the pandemic. We will break up into small groups and divide up viewing responsibilities into designated zones across the 60-acre preserve. Bring binoculars and wear weather-appropriate clothing; the count will be held “rain or shine.” The current forecast is for cold temperatures for Saturday morning.

This will be the 14th Great Backyard Bird Count conducted at the preserve and is part of a worldwide effort to generate useful data on the same weekend every year. Last year 270,000 citizen scientists counted birds in 194 countries. Data help scientists monitor the health of bird populations, which are under stress in many corners of the world including the United States due to habitat loss and climate change.

The local walk in Arlington is sponsored by the Friends of Southwest Nature Preserve. Overall project sponsors are the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society and Birds Canada.

Last year at the preserve we had a record turnout of counters (14) and birds counted (274) at the preserve. Also, two first-time species were recorded: kildeer and blue-winged teal. The 40 species we identified at the preserve were not quite a record, but in line with other days when the start time temperature was at 40 degrees (slightly chiller than average for this time of year).

The preserve, part of the City of Arlington park system, has diverse habitats that attract a wide variety of species. Data from eBird show 164 bird species have been counted at the preserve. 

See you Saturday.

Special thanks to Friends of the Southwest Nature Preserve for sharing this information with the citizens of Kennedale.

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