The Minnesota Christmas Bird Count continues, and waterfowl sightings are abundant.
Count coordinator Steve Weston said about two-thirds of the 77 counts are complete. The final count is Monday in Kensington.
Waterfowl — and particularly trumpeter swans — are notable, he said.
“Numbers are up, climbing fantastically, and they are dispersed throughout the state. They will start to concentrate now in places where there is open water,” said Weston of the swans.
Weston said their wider appearance might reflect successful efforts to disperse the waterfowl in Monticello by feeding them less. The remains of open water, particularly on the Mississippi River, also has contributed to high Canada geese numbers. “There are a lot of waterfowl that are in the state; they haven’t been frozen out yet and sent south,” Weston said.
The total count last year, 242,797 birds, was almost identical to the previous year. Five species accounted for more than half the total. Find more information on this year’s bird count and previous years’ results at The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union website, moumn.org.