Bird Quest 2015 – Sounds of Spring

On May 2nd, 2015 the Nature Club conducted the 16th annual Gloucester County Bird Quest.

The day was beautiful with lots of sun and a gentle breeze. The morning started with the beautiful sounds of the dawn chorus – the birds singing in the coming day. This year’s theme for the Quest was bird songs. Too often we continue in our daily grind without acknowledging this incredibly diverse world of sounds that surround us. Many of those sounds this time of year are from birds. There are people who study the intersection of sounds and landscape and record the natural noises know in different soundscapes. This year we introduced the idea of birding by ear or sound as a way to identify a specific bird species. The best birders use sound much more than site for bird identification in most situations.

This was the third year in a row a team from Wenonah took the top honors but a new champion won by one bird species: The Trill Seekers. This group identified 88 species of birds that morning. Compiling the birds seen from each group there were 132 species of birds seen that day. A complete checklist of the birds seen at Bird Quest 2015 is available here.

At the gathering at Scotland Run Park everyone received lunch and our Bird Quest t-shirt with birds depicted in honor of Charley Harper’s artistic style. The birds on the shirt are shown singing in keeping with our theme of bird songs. It was designed and drawn by George Yurgin at Gariel Graphics in Woodbury.

As the educational part of the theme there was a CD with bird song tracks for learning the songs of common birds of Gloucester County. This CD includes the birds on the bird cards available through the Nature Club as well. There were two trainings prior to Bird Quest that focused specifically on common bird songs and how to identify/remember them. These bird song trainings, as with all of Bird Quest, is meant to stimulate and inspire you to get outside and explore the birds and bird songs you have in your back yard, Gloucester County, and across the State. We live in an incredibly rich area for birds – never more so than in spring – get out and enjoy it.

Thank you to all the sponsors - specifically Wheelabrator which paid for the buses, and the educational materials - and to all the volunteers who make this event a success: the On-site committee, the bus leaders, the walk leaders, the training leaders, Woodford-Cedar Run (donated amazing gift baskets), the Bird Quest Committee, and any others who have made a donation or contributed to the success of the event. You know who you are. THANK YOU!

Save the date: May 7, 2016 our 17th annual Gloucester County Bird Quest.

We welcome suggestions, improvements, and all offers of help. Contact me if you would like to be a part of the planning for future Bird Quests. - Brian Hayes, BirdQuest Coordinator -

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