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“Matagorda County seems a lock for No. 1 in bird count” by: Jessica Shepard

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   The Matagorda County Mad Island Marsh Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is officially reporting 220 species and is slated to be No. 1 in North America again.
   “I have talked to our competitors, Matagorda County will report 220 species, San Diego 217, Guadalupe River Delta (Tivoli/McFaddin area) 212, Freeport 204 and Santa Barbara 203,” said CBC Compiler Brent Ortego.
   “We are not officially Number 1 until the editing is completed. That will not likely change any of these statuses.”
   The CBC was Dec. 18 under less than favorable weather conditions.
   “The count this year was held during a day with scattered showers and continuous drizzle,” added Ortego.
   “The weather likely created situations where we did not locate species that were present, and caused a number of birders to stay home and not participate. We were expecting 150 birders this year and only 109 participated. The 220 species was our lowest tally since 1995.”

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