The annual Christmas Bird Counts showed a decrease in the number of American robins in North Central Washington compared to recent counts ,according to local birder David St. George
The drop is presumably due to the shortage of berries that make up much of their winter food. Other common winter birds such as dark-eyed juncos are abundant and easily spotted at feeders and on the ground where they forage for seeds. Great blue heron numbers are holding steady along the rivers and lakes that stay open through the winter freeze.
We invite you to join others across NCW this winter in creating a naturalist’s journal for our region at www.connectingwithnature.org. Submit entries on your own or team up with a friend or family member to record your observations of the first three indicators we will track in 2011: robins, dark-eyed juncos and great blue herons.
Record the date and time, location, observer, weather notes and your observations. We’ll highlight your contributions in the April edition of Greenways and suggest other plants and animals to track into the spring and summer. Together, our observations will chronicle trends and changes and provide a legacy for future generations to build upon.
Nancy Warner is coordinator for the Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship (IRIS), a non-profit dedicated to fostering sustainable rural communities by connecting people, place and possibility.