Counting Birds In The Quad Cities - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Counting Birds In The Quad Cities

Updated:
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Burlington Man Dies In Sperry Pond

    Burlington Man Dies In Sperry Pond

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:12 AM EDT2014-08-27 14:12:09 GMT
    Des Moines County deputies have release the identity of the Burlington, Iowa man who drowned in a pond in Sperry, Iowa. The incident happened on Monday, August 25, 2014 ...More >>
    Des Moines County deputies have release the identity of the Burlington, Iowa man who drowned in a pond in Sperry, Iowa. The incident happened on Monday, August 25, 2014 ...More >>
  • Taking ALS Ice Bucket Challenge A Step Further

    Taking ALS Ice Bucket Challenge A Step Further

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-08-27 03:33:06 GMT
    The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a charitable craze that is sweeping the nation, and now, one local man is taking it one step further. He is using the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a woman who lost her husband to the disease and her ongoing fight to one day find a cure.More >>
    The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a charitable craze that is sweeping the nation, and now, one local man is taking it one step further. He is using the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a woman who lost her husband to the disease and her ongoing fight to one day find a cure.More >>
  • Lightning Starts Apartment Fire In Bettendorf

    Lightning Starts Apartment Fire In Bettendorf

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-08-26 17:47:39 GMT
    Officials say a lightning strike caused an apartment fire in Bettendorf on Monday. Crews were called to the 1080 39th Street around 10:36 p.m.More >>
    Officials say a lightning strike caused an apartment fire in Bettendorf on Monday. Crews were called to the 1080 39th Street around 10:36 p.m.More >>

Bird watchers and biologists have spent the last three weeks counting birds across the country, including right here in the QCA.

They've been doing it for the past one hundred 13 years, compiling information that not only helps scientists track where birds live, but also gives them an idea about the health of our environment.

Volunteers count birds at eight different spots throughout the Quad Cities.

Stretching from Savanna, IL, south to Mercer County.

Song birds, ducks, anything with feathers needs to be counted.

Creating a picture of bird populations for scientists to study.

"We count everything, if it's got feathers we count it, so all birds," says bird biologist Kelly McKay.

Using an owl call, McKay counts the birds he finds in a 15 mile circle around Andalusia. Stopping at 50 spots, recording every bird he finds.

"There's a Flicker and a Cardinal," says McKay.

His bird tallies will join other data collected by groups out in the field and bird watchers tracking their feeders. The data helps scientists examine where birds live. It's one of the longest wildlife surveys ever done in the world.

"When you take this data from all these count circles across the entire Western hemisphere, it gives avian biologists a pretty good snapshot about what's going on with bird populations," says McKay.

The pictures developed over the years though, trouble McKay.

"The winter ranges of a lot of these birds is shifting farther north for instance today, I've seen lots of Robins, Bluebirds, Waxwings," says McKay.

Birds that should be living much farther south from here.

"20 or 30 years ago they were almost unheard of on Midwestern Christmas Bird Counts and now we routinely find them and often times in fairly substantial numbers," says McKay.

McKay says the shifting bird ranges provide another piece of evidence the climate is getting warmer.

"It's just one more piece of evidence among the large number of pieces out there and you know you fit all those pieces together and it makes a pretty clear map basically," says McKay.

A change he hopes won't devastate the birds he loves.

"Everything, what's not to like," says McKay.

McKay is also using this years bird count to conduct an experiment, trying to determine whether a single owl call, or an owl call combined with a bird screech, is better at attracting song birds.

Powered by WorldNow

805 Brady Street, Davenport, IA 52803

Telephone: 563.383.7000
Fax: 563.383.7131
Email: news@kwqc.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Davenport, Inc. A Media General Company.