Watching, and counting, the birdies

The annual Audubon Society of the Virgin Islands bird survey produced relatively few counters but more species this year than last. 

Laurel Brannick, the count organizer, told the St. John Source that only 10 people, one-third as many as in previous years, participated.  They counted 2,135 birds from 54 species, compared to 1,713 birds from 47 species last year.  Brannick said the number of brown pelicans has dropped sharply from that 20 years ago. "Is there less fish for them to eat," she wondered. 

The bird watchers also found a decrease in the number of warblers and shore birds, giving rise to speculation that development on St. John has taken away resting places for the birds.

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