Bird Census at Kingswood

June 19, 2024

Last spring Pamela Peters, a member of Delaware-Otsego Audubon and also a volunteer with the state-wide New York Breeding Bird Atlas III project, reached out to access the property.  She was assigned the 9 square mile block along Route 67/Sand Creek Road and S. Dry Brook Rd. The Atlas is a 5-year citizen science project involving thousands of volunteers to document the numbers and distribution of breeding birds throughout NewYork. This is the final year of the project.

Last June’s meeting didn’t work out. But this year during the week following Trail Blazing Weekend, Pamela met up with Dave and Phyllis Moore to observe the birds and their behaviors on and around the Kingswood property. Dave and Phyllis also brought along some “birding friends” from Red Hook to join in the fun and to get to know our wonderful Kingswood. They had glorious weather and learned from each other.

Pamela and her new friends found 62 species of birds in and around Hathaway Pond Road on their walks. Dave shared Walter Erhardt’s notes from 1983 and 1993 with Pamela, and they have also been compiled into the spreadsheet linked below. (Walter Erhardt is the husband of Mary Swords, one of Dave and Jim Moore’s cousins. Her parents, John and Alison Swords were original active supporters and campers at Kingswood when founded.)

Pamela was also able to draw this conclusion,” So I think the bottom line is the species population has held pretty well in 30 years, probably thanks to the stable habitat on Hathaway Pond Road and Kingswood.” Our late summer, rotational mowing has contributed to the preservation of habitats. 

Pamela invites anyone who observes bird “breeding behavior” this summer to send her a note and or photograph. If you’re in camp the first few weeks, watch for some immature turkeys. She’d love to know how many were in the clutch where they flushed out a turkey from the grass. Pamela’s contact information will be available at the farmhouse.