Canada geese top for county bird count

More than 745 Canada geese were seen Dec. 16, 2018, as part of the annual Trumbull County bird count.

Howland resident Carole Babyak said the temperature that day was above freezing, so there was open water with a variety of ducks and mergansers present. She said some people scouted territories in groups and several people watched their feeders.

She said the Canada Goose received the highest sighting count, totaling 746. Among the others spotted were one great blue heron, eight white snow geese, 15 tundra swans and 86 trumpeter swans.

Babyak said the trumpeter swan was on the endangered species list, and an effort to boost and disperse the population took place as both federal and local wildlife agencies captive bred and released birds including at Mosquito Lake.

The count also included 43 sandhill cranes which have adopted Trumbull County on their own because of the rich habitat.

The count had 14 bald eagles with 12 adults and 2 immatures; 289 ring-billed gulls; one each great and lesser black-backed gulls; 24 bluebirds; and a northern visitor, a rough-legged hawk. The totals are sent to the National Audubon Society which keeps track of bird species and numbers in Trumbull County.

Babyak said the first count was held on the east coast in 1900. Results of past counts can be viewed on the National Audubon website.

The 2019 bird count will be held Dec. 15.