The Indiana Audubon Society (IAS) will hold its annual Big May Day Bird Count on May 14. As seen on its webpage the “objective of the BMDBC is to count the number of birds of each species occurring in a participating county area from midnight to midnight on the second Saturday in May. This data snapshot provides a valuable scientific record of the bird populations occurring each year in Indiana.”
I have participated in the last 3 counts for Johnson County and previously for several years in the LaSalle County count in Illinois. I have always found these counts to be fun. Groups start at different times and go until 12:30PM. We then meet at Johnson County Park for lunch and to recap the morning. From there some people will go searching for species we missed in the morning.
The last 3 years in Johnson County we have seen 2015 – 122, 2014 – 134, and 2013 – 127 species.
Some other data recapping last year’s count taken from the Indiana Audubon Quarterly Vol. 93, No. 4 November, 2015: “Thirty two of the 92 counties (35%) participated and reported 244 individual species. (See Indiana Map below) According to the annual data since collected since 1991, the number of counties participating was down compared to the average of 40, but the number of individual species reported (244) is above the average of 238. Additionally, the total birds counted (116,729) by 376 observers is well below the average of 150,751.”
If you’re interested in helping on a count please contact a county compiler. The compilers are listed on the left side of the page on the link to the Indiana Audubon in the first paragraph.