May Census

May_census_debkral2016

The May Census for 2017 was held on Friday, May 12. To view the results, click here. For more information, contact Adrienne Popko at cbc1@watermanbirdclub.org.

The Dutchess County May Census is a historic and eagerly awaited event held each May at the peak of spring migration with the goal of finding and counting the largest variety of bird species, especially colorful spring warblers. It has been held every year, never missed, since its inception in 1919.  The entire county is covered by separate teams during the all-day event, usually on the Saturday closest to May 15th.

In 1919, local birder Allen Frost suggested to Maunsell Crosby that an annual May Census be conducted in Dutchess County. Crosby held the census each year until his death in 1931, after which Allen Frost continued until his own death in 1946. At this point, Dutchess County bird records were passed to Ralph T. Waterman, who then continued the census with his son Otis. Subsequently, the bird club that Mr. Waterman founded in 1958 assumed responsibility for Dutchess County records, including the May Census. The results of the census, along with other records, can be analyzed to identify population trends and provide evidence of the impact of environmental changes in the area.

For the results from the first May Census in 1919 until 1958, see Records May 1919-58.pdf.
See the results from 1959-2016.pdf. For questions about historical information, contact Barbara Butler via email at records1@watermanbirdclub.org.