A team of Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition volunteers participated along with other bird counters in the 120th Christmas Bird Count, the oldest citizen-science bird project on Earth. The Belfast Circle is a 15-mile-diameter circle encompassing Belfast, Stockton Springs, Frankfort, Monroe and Waldo; the center of the circle is Mt. Ephraim. Watchers stalked their sections all day January 4, tallying birds by species.

Collectively, teams in the Belfast Circle found 71 species, including four species of owls, setting a record of species counted in the Belfast Circle. A count highlight was a first-time-seen species: two ruby-crowned kinglets, together. A complete list will be posted to belfastbaywatershed.org.

The Christmas Bird Count began in 1900. Maine has 29 count circles, with individual counts scheduled on different days between December 14 and January 5 to allow participation in more than one count.

To join the team for the next Christmas count, email Seth Benz at sbenz@schoodicinstitute.org.