(Above) Common Gallinule is counted on the annual Sanibel Captiva Audubon Christmas Bird Count. (Below) Osprey, left, and Red Shouldered Hawk. Photos by Beverly Henson.
(Above) Common Gallinule is counted on the annual Sanibel Captiva Audubon Christmas Bird Count. (Below) Osprey, left, and Red Shouldered Hawk. Photos by Beverly Henson.

The Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society conducted its annual Christmas Bird Count Saturday, Dec. 15, when 117 participants counted a total of 9,582 birds comprised of 101 different species. The results of the San-Cap count will be reported to the National Audubon Society and will become part of the 119th Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

The overall count was down considerably from last year which was a superior year. The 8 a.m. high tide was a big factor and the residual effects of this summer's massive red tide infestation may have also played a part.

Audubon Christmas Bird Counts are conducted throughout much of the Western Hemisphere from mid-December through early January. The CBC is a fertile source of historical information on the status and distribution of early winter bird populations and is studied by scientists and interested individuals the world over.

San-Cap Audubon sincerely thanks all those who took part in this year’s successful Christmas Bird Count. Many thanks also to Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation for their count support and use of their facilities and J.N. "Ding" Darling NWR for their count contributions and continued support.