May 10 bird walk celebrates International Migratory Bird Day
May 08, 2014 | 495 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Migratory Bird Day
Bird watchers at the 2013 spring bird walk in Moab documented 45 bird species. This year’s event will be held May 10 at the Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve. Photo by Nick Eason
Bird watchers at the 2013 spring bird walk in Moab documented 45 bird species. This year’s event will be held May 10 at the Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve. Photo by Nick Eason
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Mountain bluebirds may be among the birds sighted during the May 10 bird walk, Utah DWR officials say. Photo by Dustin Stettler
Mountain bluebirds may be among the birds sighted during the May 10 bird walk, Utah DWR officials say. Photo by Dustin Stettler
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Novice and expert birders alike can enjoy a day spotting birds while helping biologists gather data during the Moab Bird Club’s annual bird walk in celebration of International Migratory Bird Day. The event is being held in collaboration with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and The Nature Conservancy.

The bird walk will be held Saturday, May 10 from 8 a.m. until noon at the conservancy’s Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve on Kane Creek Boulevard. The event is free of charge and open to the public, bird club officials said in a news release.

The bird club revived the annual tradition of a spring bird count in 2013. At last year’s event, three groups of local residents and area visitors recorded 304 individual birds and 45 bird species at the preserve. The results were added to a national data bank, which is used to track trends in bird species across the United States. Over time, this information helps researchers track declines, upswings and changes in the population and distribution of migratory birds.

Created in 1993, the yearly spring count during International Migratory Bird Day gives birders a chance to share a day of birding with the public. The results of their findings, together with the birds counted in other areas, provide insight on the progress of spring migration and data on the abundance and distribution of each resident and migrating species.

Those who would like to participate in the May 10 event should meet at The Nature Conservancy parking lot on the preserve’s south side, at 934 W. Kane Creek Blvd.  

From there, bird watchers will split into small groups to cover as much ground as possible and identify the diversity and abundance of birds on the preserve.

Participants are advised to wear sturdy walking shoes and bring sunscreen, water and snacks. Those who have binoculars should also bring them along, said Brent Stettler of the Utah Division of Wildlife. 

“If you have some binoculars and a bird book, bring them with you,” Stettler said. “If not, we’ll have some binoculars for you to use.”

Participants do not have to stay for the full four hours, Stettler. 

For more information, contact Kay McLean at 435-259-6199.

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