Nearly a dozen SIB members are participating in the 2017-2018 Project FeederWatch program. During a seminar held earlier this week, one of the members asked a great question:
Q: My backyard is legally ended by a tidal creek that flows in to a marsh behind my neighbor’s house. The neighbor has a dock. I know I don’t count birds in flight but if there are birds perched on the dock or in the marsh, should I include them in my counts? Also, if there are birds scavenging at low tide in the mud of the creek or swimming by on high tide, should they be included?
Since this is an important questions as many of us live on or near marsh, beach, rivers, etc, Judy Morr sent the question to Project Feeder. Below is their answer:
A: It gets a little tricky counting near water. If any of the birds are attracted to something you provide (feeder, birdbath, plants, stocked fish in a pond etc…), please include them in the count. If you think the birds would be at that location regardless of anything you provide, please exclude them. For example, if a bird is foraging at the tide line or resting at the dock, I would exclude it. However, if ducks come up into your yard to forage, I would include them. I hope that helps.
Thank you for FeederWatching,
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Submitted by: SIB Communication Team