Bird count shows strong numbers

This is the 15-mile diameter counting circle that birders work in. Marshes, prairies, industrial landscapes and beaches are only part of the diversity found in the Matagorda Mad Island Marsh Christmas Bird Count.

   A preliminary total of 232 bird species were tallied Monday night at the 22nd Annual Mad Island Marsh Christmas Bird Count (CBC).
   The Matagorda CBC is part of the 116th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count of North America.  
   There are nearly seven other rare birds that require identification before being counted in the total.
   That puts Matagorda County down by two from last year’s 234.
   “We’re probably in the top five of the nation still,” said Brent Ortego, Wildlife Diversity Biologist.
   Ortego cites Santa Barbara, Calif., and the Guadalupe River Delta, Texas, count circles as main contenders for the number one title.
   “We get better quality over quantity on the Peninsula,” said Ortego, in reference to the various species found in Matagorda.

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