September 21, 2020
Q: What happened to the map and database on this site?
A: Deleted for now. The map got too crowded (a good thing – so many Kolea!), and names and email addresses in the database needed to be confidential. We’re working on ways to share information with counters.
Q: How often can I count and report Kolea in my area?
A: For Little Counts, report your bird’s arrival, and any change throughout the winter, such as its disappearance, or another bird’s appearance in the same space. Share your bird’s eating, behavior, and/or personality traits in the SHARE tab.
For Big Counts, count and report three times between December 1 and March 31 if possible. If you can count only once or twice, report that. If you can count more than three times, please do. All data enhances knowledge.
Q: How do I sign up for a Big Count?
A: Go to bit.ly/2BFwVXG Use the CONTACT tab to send me your chosen location by its name and/or Site Code. The sites are numbered only to help me find locations in long lists. If your location isn’t listed, let me know, and I’ll add it.
Q: How do I know I’m not counting the same bird twice, or missing some birds?
A: Absolute precision isn’t possible, but you can get pretty close. A territorial Kolea stays in its chosen site throughout the day, and there, the birds becoming accustomed to the presence of people, traffic, and sometimes even mellow dogs (picture below). If an unusual noise, animal, or person startles a Kolea and it flies off, it will return to its territory after the disturbance. Counting an area at least three times helps arrive at a more accurate number. Watch for patterns, and just do the best you can.
This Kolea, named Gracie, learned that the family dog, Lucy, was no threat. A screen separates the dog and the bird. ©Susan Scott
Q: Do I count single birds in flight?
A: No. Only count Kolea on the ground.
Q: What about Kolea in flocks?
A: Flocks are of two types:
1)Territorial Kolea gathering to roost for the night. At night, the birds sleep together in places safe from predators, such as rooftops and rocky outcrops. Don’t count flocks that are gathering for sleepovers.
Bedtime for birdies. A dusk gathering of Kolea on a rooftop at Midway Atoll. ©Susan Scott
2) Social Kolea that …