More than 50 volunteers participated in the 112th annual Christmas Bird Count, one of the oldest conservation events in the world.
Three American Bald Eagles were spotted near Addison Oaks and Independence Oaks county parks. The total number of birds counted was 22,735 and 66 species. Open water on most of the lakes bolstered the species list to include some diving ducks, such as the Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser. One unique species spotted was a Glaucous Gull.
Three Oakland County Parks were included in the count: Addison Oaks in Leonard; Independence Oaks in Clarkston; and Orion Oaks in Orion Township.
Volunteers from Oakland County Parks and Recreation and the Michigan State University Extension programs assisted Education Resource Specialist Kathleen Dougherty in an area that included Orion Oaks. Dougherty, along with two feeder watchers, observed 34 different species.
“Not only do participants have the chance to see terrific and beautiful birds, they also act as citizen scientists and provide data about bird species,” Dougherty said. “These data are the most geographically inclusive wildlife study in the world that show abundance, range, shifts in range and distribution of species. Birds are sensitive to environmental changes and provide information about environmental health.”
The event was hosted by the Oakland Audubon Society, a local chapter of the Audubon, a national network that strives to sustain bird populations and engage people in preservation efforts year round.