Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tempe Town Lake Aquatic Bird Survey 2012

Habitat area downstream from the new pedestrian bridge at Tempe Town Lake
Photo by Jeff Stemshorn

Last Saturday I and several great volunteers did the waterbird survey of Tempe Town Lake as part of the Arizona Game and Fish Department's "Phoenix Area Aquatic Bird Survey".

The day started out as bitter-cold, then eased into frigid-cold.  When the sun finally did appear, so did the high school percussion band and hundreds of demonstrators, marching the lake's perimeter!  It was amazing that any birds stayed around to be counted.  But my wonderful volunteers - birders from Desert Botanical Garden's Monday Morning Birdwalks - persisted and covered our entire area over the course of the day.  Our area included the habitat just downstream from the new pedestrian bridge, the entire lake, and the small marsh area near Curry and Miller Roads.  (A second team of birders from DBG surveyed the marsh at Tempe Marketplace - I will be posting their results soon!)

Volunteers Anita, Ethan, and Logan surveying the habitat downstream of the west
 dam at Tempe Town Lake, Jan. 21st, 2012. Photo by Jeff Stemshorn

The exciting bird sightings of the day were the Brown Pelican flying up and down the lake, the lone female Bufflehead at the small marsh north of the lake, and the adult Bald Eagle trying to steal fish from the Osprey!

Bald Eagle at Tempe Town Lake, Jan. 21st, 2012.  Photo by Jeff Stemshorn

We had a total of 24 species! (vs.last years 17)

Brown Pelican at Tempe Town Lake, Jan. 21st, 2012.
Photo by Jeff Stemshorn

Canvasbacks 4
Mallards 21
Northern Shovelers 26
Ring-necked Ducks 12
Ruddy Ducks 151
Buffleheads 1
Pied-billed Grebes 9
Eared Grebes 67
Western Grebes 37
Neotropic Cormorants 102
Double-crested Cormorants 55
Great Blue Herons 2
Great Egrets 14
Snowy Egrets 35
Green Herons 2
American Coots 63
Killdeer 7
Black-necked Stilts 6
Greater Yellowlegs 2
Least Sandpipers 7
Wilson's Snipe 1
Osprey 2
Bald Eagle 1
Brown Pelican 1
Total # birds counted : 629

Thank you Ann, Anita, Logan, Ethan, and Jeff for all of your hard work!  Next year let's rent a boat!!!

To see a slide show of the area surveyed, click on the image below:

This endeavor is part of the statewide Arizona Coordinated Bird Monitoring effort which is promoted by the Arizona Bird Conservation Initiative (ABCI). ABCI is a cooperative partnership of agencies, organizations, and individuals committed to the conservation of all birds and their habitats in Arizona.

If you are interested in volunteering for next year's count, contact Troy Corman at AZ Game and Fish Dept.

Troy Corman
Avian Monitoring Coordinator
Nongame Branch
AZ Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Hwy.
Phoenix, Arizona 85086

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I was wondering what you all found down at Tempe; I'm planning on checking it out tomorrow afternoon.

    Thanks for sharing


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