© 2024 WVIK
Listen at 90.3 FM and 98.3 FM in the Quad Cities, 95.9 FM in Dubuque, or on the WVIK app!
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Warm Winter Leads to "Strange" Christmas Bird Count

Credit National Audubon Society

The unusually warm winter has kept most species of birds up north, but that wasn't true for every area near the Quad Cities. Wildlife biologist Kelly McKay calls this year's Christmas Bird Count one of the "strangest" in the 116-year-long tradition. 

McKay says this was one of the "worst years" for water fowl, with the numbers of bald eagles, geese, and ducks especially low. But that was off-set by a "huge" number of the birds in Clinton. 
And, he says the count for "semi-hardy species" was also odd. Birds like robins and sparrows typically stick around the Quad Cities during mild winters, but were hard to find this year. 

Colder weather in November could have pushed the semi-hardy species out of the area.

McKay says the annual Christmas Bird Count is the longest running wildlife survey in the world. Each year for 23 days, thousands of people count birds across North America and submit their results to the National Audubon Society.