Birdwatchers report their totals for annual count

BAZETTA – With temperatures in the upper 50s the week before Christmas, participants with the Trumbull County’s annual Christmas Bird Count were able to see more species of birds that had not left the area for winter.

Carol Babyak, local event coordinator, said the mild temperatures and open Mosquito Lake caused many birds, such as waterfowl, to linger in northeast Ohio longer.

The annual count took place on Dec. 16.

The count is done annually within a 15 miles diameter circle in the county which includes, Southington, West Farmington, Bristolville, North Bloomfield, Champion, Cortland, Mecca and Greene.

Participant watch their bird feeders and keep track of the birds seen on Dec. 16.

Babyak said nationwide the count has been done since 1900 first along the East Coast and today across the entire United States and Canada with Trumbull County’s count done since 1976.

She said the count is reviewed by scientists to determine fluctuating bird populations as well as climate changes.

The results of past counts can been seen on Audubon’s website.

Babyak said local results included 2,662 mallard ducks, which was the highest number for any species, followed by ring-billed gulls in second with 2,384, Canada goose third with 2,013 and the European starling was fourth at 1,365.