Local Ornithologists Take Part in ‘Burien Birdfest’
Local Ornithologists – aka bird watchers – took part in the ‘Burien Birdfest’ at Dottie Harper Park on Feb. 15 – 18, watching and counting various birds in B-Town.
Burien just happens to be on the ‘Pacific Flyway,’ one of the migratory paths of travel that birds use annually to get from Alaska to the Antarctic, making it a great place to gather information on bird travel and movement.
Andy Waters from Birds Unlimited gave a presentation on bird identification, special quirks of some birds, best ways to feed and attract birds and what to look for when buying birdhouses. It was a great presentation with some interesting tidbits and facts about birds such as which bird is the CAD of the bird world, what is the “Oh My God” bird and what is the date to see that great yellow bird, the Evening Grossbeak, in Burien.
There were educational events both indoors and outdoors for both adults and children and a drawing for free bird guides.
This event was free and open to the public and sponsored by Sustainable Burien members.
“The event was an effort by citizen scientists to track and create a database of what is happening to the world population of birds,” according to an announcement. “Citizen scientists record their data with a lab run at Cornell University. It is a very easy process to participate in and you can do it in your own backyard or from your kitchen window.”
But counting birds isn’t all fun and games. No, it’s also about the loss of bird populations. According to a recent study, the four factors that are responsible for the greatest losses of bird populations are:
- Habitat loss
- Pesticides that kill birds
- Wind generators and
- Cats – 2.4 billion kills per year in the USA alone
Cats kills 2.4 billion birds annually in the USA, and B-Towners are advised by birders to “keep your cat in your house. It helps the birds and helps the cats live a longer and healthier life.”