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ocracoke shorebird mystery

Bird count normal, but shorebirds absent.

Whatever the reason may be, bird counters noticed an absence of shorebirds at the annual Ocracoke Christmas Bird Count. Perhaps it was the cold winds blowing across the waters, or the waters of Pamlico Sound much more shallow than normal…or maybe it was just cyclical.  Peter Vankevich writing for the Ocracoke Observer looks at the facts behind the story.

Laughing Gull. Although not common during an Ocracoke winter, a few are usually present on Ocracoke Island. Photo National Audubon Society.

Laughing Gull. Although not common during an Ocracoke winter, a few are usually present on Ocracoke Island. Photo National Audubon Society.

“Cold, windy weather at dawn on Dec. 30 kept birds hunkered down for the annual Ocracoke Christmas Bird Count.

Nevertheless, 20 or so observers persisted, and by the end of the day had documented 80 species. Last year, 83 species were reported and 69 the previous year.

The Ocracoke census, conducted over a 24-hour period, has run every year since it began in 1981.  All of the bird counts and historical results are compiled by the National Audubon Society and can be accessed here. ”

 

Read the rest of this story on the Ocracoke Observer.

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