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Texas: More grackles gliding into area

Source:  Copyright 2009, Standard-Times
Date:  January 4, 2009
Byline:  Angela Shaffer
Original URL: Status ONLINE

San Angelo birders spotted 116 species during the 109th annual National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count.

It was San Angelo's 44th year of participation in the count, which covered an area 15 miles in radius zone, centered on the H-E-B parking lot on Sherwood Way.

The San Angelo group's sponsor, Russell Wilke, said the changes seen in the past few decades indicate a shift in habitat for many species.

"We are seeing a lot of great-tailed grackles and white-winged doves creeping into the area," he said. "These are a more southern species, so their presence here indicates our climate is shifting."

The 2008 count took place on Dec. 14, when the temperature reached a balmy 81 degrees, the highest in recorded history for that date. A total of 20 people separated into eight parties, which logged a total of 70.5 hours participating in the count.

They sighted 116 species and a total of 25,590 birds. While the total number of birds ...

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