Disney's Hollywood Studios, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Interior

Wildlife Wednesdays: Guests Join 4th Annual Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Bird Count—Record Number of Birds Counted

posted on January 29th, 2014 by Anne Savage, Ph.D., Conservation Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


I have fantastic news from the 4th Annual Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Bird Count, which took place last Saturday. We counted a record number of birds and, for the first time, guests joined in the count during Magical Moments.

BCC084763

Cast Members and their families, guided by Disney’s Animal Programs bird experts, counted more than 24,000 birds representing 119 species at the Walt Disney World Resort and surrounding area. This is a new record for the most birds and the most species observed since we started the bird count four years ago. It’s obvious that our feathered friends enjoy the Walt Disney World Resort as much as our guests do!

Wildlife Wednesdays: Guests Join 4th Annual Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Bird Count—Record Number of Birds Counted Wildlife Wednesdays: Guests Join 4th Annual Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Bird Count—Record Number of Birds Counted

And this year, for the first time, guests joined the count during Magical Moments, some counting birds side-by-side with Walt Disney World Ambassador Rich Tamayo. At Disney’s Pop Century and Disney’s Art of Animation Resorts, for example, guests counted hooded mergansers (a colorful member of the duck family) coming in to roost on a pond between the resorts, along with little blue herons, tri-colored herons, snowy egrets, and many other birds.

New species that we counted this year included the black-bellied whistling duck, common goldeneye, ruddy duck, American pipit, field sparrow, grasshopper sparrow and the beautiful painted bunting.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Guests Join 4th Annual Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Bird Count—Record Number of Birds Counted Wildlife Wednesdays: Guests Join 4th Annual Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Bird Count—Record Number of Birds Counted

Did you participate in a bird count during the past year? If so, tell us about your favorite moment in the comments.

Did you know?

  • Our Holiday Bird Count is modeled after the Audubon Christmas bird count, which began in 1900. Data collected in bird counts from year to year allow scientists to follow trends in bird populations and abundance over time. These trends help scientists focus their conservation efforts in key bird areas
  • We can help birds and other wildlife by disposing of waste properly, including recycling, to keep trash out of natural areas, and by observing birds and other wildlife from a safe distance and not feeding them “human” food, which is not healthy for them.
  • Since 1995, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has provided more than $6.1 million to support bird conservation around the world. In Florida, the DWCF has helped protect birds, including the whooping crane, bald eagle, scrub jay, red-cockaded woodpecker and mangrove cuckoo.
  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

4 Comments

1

Samantha on January 29th, 2014 at 9:55 am

I look forward to this post the most! I would love to have help join in the bird count. Maybe next year you guys will release something to lets us know so we all can come and bird watch!

2

Lucinda from IL on January 29th, 2014 at 10:17 am

I love the hooded merganser photo….one of my favorite ducks. I’m so thankful the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund exists and we gladly purchase the buttons, pins and magnets hoping our tiny bit helps. Thank you, Disney for all your great conservation efforts!!

3

Justin on January 29th, 2014 at 4:23 pm

I was unaware of the official bird count at the parks, but just happened to be looking around on the internet for any other posts about this past weekend (1/25-1/26) and the unbelievable number of birds in some locations. I am an avid bird photographer, and though I was at Disney World for a vacation, I always keep my eye out for birds while there. I arrived 1/23, and stayed at Saratoga Springs in the Congress Park section – over the first 3 days I noticed a good selection of wintering warblers and smaller perching birds which I expected. However, Sunday 1/26, I awoke to a cacophony of noise off my balcony, and running downstairs to look around, there was nearly a fallout of birds in every tree throughout the Congress Park area, buildings 3 & 4. It was not like anything I’ve ever seen at Disney. I took some photos, and spotted others, and even non birders passing by were commenting on the sheer number of birds (thousands, with many different species). My one-day bird count included the following:

cedar waxwing
tufted titmouse
black and white warbler
palm warbler
prairie warbler
pine warbler
yellow-rumped warbler
yellow-throated warbler
american robin
blue headed vireo
black throated blue warbler
yellow bellied sapsucker
ruby-crowned kinglet
blue grey gnatcatcher
northern cardinal
blue jay
grackle
blue-grey gnatcatcher
great crested flycatcher
american goldfinch
grey catbird
bald eagle
baltimore oriole
belted kingfisher
carolina chickadee
chipping sparrow
bachman’s sparrow
acadian flycatcher
blue grosbeak
magnolia warbler
eastern bluebird
eastern phoebe
eastern towhee
northern parula
(possible) pine siskin
(possible) golden crowned kinglet
cattle egret
great egret
snowy egret
little blue heron
great blue heron
tricolor heron
sandhill crane
wood stork
osprey
pied-billed grebe
hooded merganser
mottled duck
northern pintail
mallard
double-crested cormorant
anhinga

I wonder if any other areas of Disney World were experiencing larger than normal numbers of song birds or winter migrators!

4

Jennie from CA on January 29th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

We just spent 2 weeks at Animal Kingdom Lodge and really enjoyed all the birds. Nothing beats the Disney ducks tho. Hands down our favorite to watch.

4 Comments