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Christmas Bird Count

Bradenton Circle 2023 CBC Results

A message from Kathy Doddridge, CBC Compiler:
Bradenton Circle CBC – December 16, 2023

Kathy Doddridge, Compiler
Bradenton Circle Christmas Bird Count

After months of drought, many were glad for the predicted heavy rain on Saturday, December 16th. However, that was the day of the Bradenton Circle Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Thankfully, the heavier rain didn’t start until mid-afternoon, which allowed 31 teams comprised of 64 individual birders to survey their territories within the 15-mile Bradenton Circle.

While the weather didn’t stop our team members, it did impact the number of species (149 vs 159 in 2022) and the number of individual birds (31,398 vs 44,345 in 2022). However, several new species were identified during this year’s count: Marbled Godwit, Long-billed Dowitcher, Crested Caracara, Tree Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, AND American Flamingo. Yes, of the many American Flamingos dispersed during Hurricane Idalia, one or two remained in Manatee County. This was the first record of an American Flamingo for the Bradenton CBC. The Carolina Chickadee has been seen at a nearby feeder for 264 days and is only the third record of this species for the Bradenton CBC. The Crested Caracara is the second record for this species.

Other highlights were the high numbers of these species: Wood Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Black Skimmer, American Robin, and Brown-headed Cowbird.

Congratulations to all the sector leaders and team members for their outstanding efforts this year. I look forward to seeing many of you on the birding trail in 2024!

2024 CBC Date: Saturday, December 14th

Kathy Doddridge, Compiler

Bradenton Circle Christmas Bird Count

History of the Christmas Bird Count

Prior to the turn of the 20th century, hunters engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas “Side Hunt.” They would choose sides and go afield with their guns—whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.

The conservation movement was still in its beginning stages in that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about the declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then-nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition—a “Christmas Bird Census” that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.

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Manatee County's CBC results

American Flamingo taken by Billie Knight
We thank Kathy and all of the volunteers that tirelessly come out each year and look forward to next years CBC!