-By Mary Korkor (WSO President)-
The 2020 Honey Creek Birdathon/Bandathon, like so many other events this spring, was different.
The WSO Board had determined that large group gatherings (including field trips and our annual convention) weren’t advisable, so field trip leaders Tom Schultz and Jeff Baughman headed to Honey Creek on their own to count birds and provide ongoing data for our preserve. They were treated to 66 species, including 11 Warblers.
Dr. Anna Pidgeon, with support from her family, was able to get out on a clear morning and banded 21 individual birds. I think my favorite from her list was the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. I have never seen one in hand and hope that next year we are able to be there to watch Anna execute her job with such gentleness and precision.
The other great news is that because of the generous support of the WSO community, our alternative event Birdathon/Bandathon has so far raised more than $18,500!
We can’t thank our members enough for your confidence in our organization and your dedication to this beautiful preserve. I went to Honey Creek on Memorial Day because I knew it wouldn’t be crowded and I could find sanctuary there from the craziness of the world. I wasn’t disappointed and was treated to many of the same species that Tom, Jeff and Anna observed.
There is a lot of work to be done to keep the Honey Creek Preserve healthy and pristine. Invasive species are a constant challenge. Boardwalks are always in need of maintenance. Fallen trees on the paths need to be removed. And now we have acquired the old farmhouse next to the Cox Nature Center. In the weeks ahead our wonderful Honey Creek chair, Dan Pickarts, will be working with a team to remove the house (which was not salvageable) and clean up the area for future use. We would be lost without him.
I hope that by this time next year we will be celebrating another successful Honey Creek Birdathon/Bandathon on site. In the meantime, Thank You again, to all who have contributed. And watch for more exciting news about Honey Creek in coming months!
-- This is one of several timely articles in this month's Badger Birder newsletter; don't miss out on the latest birding and conservation news. Become a WSO member today! --