The Fishers Island Fire Department, in coordination with FIConservancy, annually conducts controlled or “prescribed” burns in the Parade Grounds and surrounding areas that are part of the Conservancy’s Grassland Restoration project.
Fire is necessary to maintain grassland, and different sections are burned on a rotating basis every three years, with careful exclusion of nesting bird areas.
John Sargent wrote a thoughtful and comprehensive story about the 2018 controlled burn.
FIConservancy’s annual Spring Migration Bird Count will be Sunday May 6.
First, however, come to the Parade Grounds Sat. May 5 at 3 p.m. for a brief tour and a tutorial by the experts on the best way to count birds. The University of Delaware team of Adam Mitchell, Emily Baisden and Will Aleida will lead the bird count and be available to answer all questions about migratory birds.
FIConservancy President Tom Sargent and his wife Allison will host a reception at their house Sat. May 5 at 6:30 p.m. for all those participating in the Spring Migration Bird Count and for anyone else interested in meeting the University of Delaware experts.
The Spring Migration Bird Count begins Sun. May 6 at 8 a.m. Meet at the Community Center and bring your binoculars!
In February, FIConservancy proceeded with its annual prescribed burn. The burn is critical to maintaining grassland restoration. We are grateful for our partnership with the Fishers Island Fire Department for the annual burns and with the Fishers Island Ferry District for the opportunity to establish grassland restoration on grounds owned by Southold and managed by the Ferry District. Click for more information on: Why We Burn.
Members of the Fishers Island Conservancy and another dozen volunteers met early Sunday morning on September 24 at the Community Center. With binoculars in hand and dressed for a long walk they headed out. Learn more about the 48 separate species that were observed in the Summary by Adam Mitchell, PhD candidate at the University of Delaware.
2017 Fall Migratory Bird Survey Report Summary
by Adam Mitchell, PhD candidate at the University of Delaware
The Fishers Island Conservancy’s annual fall migratory bird survey occurred on September 24th, 2017. The survey consisted of a series of point counts, 15 in total, dispersed across the island at every half-mile interval. At each point, birds are recorded by sight and sound for five minutes, permitting a rapid-fire survey to address questions about the number of birds and species of birds using the island as migratory habitat. Participants include trained and amateur birdwatchers and is open to the public.
This year, a total of 48 species of bird were recorded for the survey. The greatest number of species recorded during the survey (9 species) occurred at point 1 (Race Point), point 4 (Ocean View Ave), and point 15 (Money Pond). The species of bird most frequently observed during the survey was the gray catbird (11 of 15 points). The most abundant bird species observed during the survey was also the gray catbird (35 individuals).
The survey includes one threatened species (northern harrier) and two species of concern (osprey, sharp-shinned hawk) for the state of New York. Given the island’s proximity to the coast of Connecticut, we also report bird species that are classified as endangered, threatened, or species of concern for that state. We report two endangered species (northern harrier, sharp-shinned hawk), and four species of concern (American kestrel, brown thrasher, northern parula, saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow). We detected 5 species of warbler (common yellowthroat, northern parula, prairie warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, and yellow warbler).
A complete list of species:
Greater black-backed gull
Saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow
Out in the field I caught up with Conservancy’s Autumn Bird Migration Survey and chatted with birds of a feather Adam Mitchell & Will Almeida; discovering 48 bird species in a day that depend on our Island’s healthy native habitat.
– Audio Chat by Justine Kibbe September 24, 2017
In the photo, the group obsessed over a variety of bird called a brown thrasher.
Photo by: A. Sargent
On June 3, 2017, three University of Delaware (UD) students arrived on Fishers Island with a few bags of food, backpacks, and a handful of garden shears. Employed by the Fishers Island Conservancy, and trained and supervised by both UD professor, Douglas Tallamy, PhD. and his graduate student, Adam Mitchell, the Weed Team was ready for battle.