Announcing the results of the Fall 2023 Migratory Bird Count

We are excited to share the official tally of bird species encountered during our annual bird count, along with the “running count” that includes birds observed over the past two days. This fall’s birding event was remarkable, with a grand total of 50 species recorded during the count. Adding the additional 7 species spotted in the running count, we reached an impressive total of 57 species! (See list of bird species below.)

This year brought us some extraordinary birding moments, which we attribute to the recent major storms that grounded much of the bird activity in the days leading up to the count.

With a decade now behind us, we’ve successfully completed our 10th year of the migratory bird count. The data collected during these ten years will serve as a valuable resource for analyzing trends in bird activity on our island.

Here’s the list of species we encountered in our Fall 2023 Migratory Bird Count.

Thank you to all who participated.

Fall 2023 Bird Count
American crow
American goldfinch
American kestrel
American redstart
American robin
Belted kingfisher (running)
Black-capped chickadee
Blue jay
Brown thrasher
Black & white warbler
Bobolink (running and confirmed; congrats Tom!)
Carolina wren
Cedar waxwing
Chimney swift
Chipping sparrow (running)
Common eider
Common grackle
Common loon (running)
Common yellowthroat
Cooper's hawk
Double crested cormorant
Downy woodpecker
Eastern phoebe
Eastern towhee
European starling
Greater black-backed gull
Great blue heron
Golden-crowned kinglet
Gray catbird
Great egret
Herring gull
House finch
House sparrow
Laughing gull (running)
Mourning dove
Mute swan
Northern cardinal
Northern flicker
Northern harrier
Northern mockingbird
Red-bellied woodpecker
Red-tailed hawk
Northern rough-winged swallow
Osprey (running)
Savannah sparrow
Salt marsh sparrow
Swamp sparrow (running)
Song sparrow
Tufted titmouse
White-breasted nuthatch
White-throated sparrow
Yellow-billed cuckoo
Yellow warbler
Yellow-rumped warbler

Bird watchers scan the skies looking for birds to include in the biannual migratory bird count on Fishers Island.

Join us for our 2023 Fall Migratory Bird Count alongside our University of Delaware experts, Emily Baisden and Will Almeida. 

Event Details: 

What: FIConservancy 2023 Fall Migratory Bird Count

When: Sunday, October 1, 2023 @ 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Where: Meet at Fishers Island Community Center

Make sure to bring your binoculars!

Following Audubon bird count rules, birders will make 15 five-minute stops from West End to East End. At each timed stop, birders count birds and call out what they see.

The outcomes from these bird counts play a crucial role in assisting scientists and conservation groups in mapping bird populations. Furthermore, they provide valuable insights into the distribution and frequency of various bird species within our local environment.

Plastic in the water, on the land and IN you! Fighting pollution on Fishers Island and Beyond

Event Details: 

Date: October 8th

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

Place: In-person at the Museum, 2nd Floor and virtual via Zoom

Category: Illustrated Talk


Plastic pollution is a bad neighbor. As plastic breaks up into microplastics it disperses into the environment. Researchers are finding plastic particles almost everywhere they look, including inside the human body.

What are the impacts of these plastics, and what can we do to stop them?  

Join Dr. Megan J. Wolff, MPH, policy director at Beyond Plastics, as she talks about what individuals can do to reduce their consumption and exposure to plastics as well as discuss the exciting legislative initiatives underway in the state of New York aimed at significantly reducing plastic  pollution.

Michele Klimczak, our Coastal Debris Coordinator at the Fishers Island Conservancy, will also be presenting an overview of the extensive repercussions of plastic pollution on the island, offering a localized perspective to complement the presentation by Dr. Megan J. Wolff.

*To secure your spot, please reach out to us at 631-788-7239 or send an email to Virtual attendance does not require prior registration.

Join Us for Bug Night with Entomologist Dr. Adam Mitchell!

Event Details:

Date: Saturday

Time: 8:30 PM to 9:00 PM-?

Location: John Thatcher Native Garden

Join Us:

Calling all nature enthusiasts and bug lovers!  Get ready for another Bug Night adventure with entomologist Dr. Adam Mitchell. Embrace the opportunity to see insects in a whole new light! Bring your friends and family for an exciting evening of discovery and learning.

What to Expect:

Explore the world of insects under the guidance of an expert entomologist and expand your knowledge of local insect species. 

Witness a variety of critters drawn to large white sheets illuminated by vapor lamps.

Learn about the fascinating lives, behaviors, and habits of insects that call the John Thatcher Native Garden home.

Let’s marvel at the magic of insects together. See you at Bug Night!

Note: Event details are subject to change. Please check our website or contact us for any updates.

Join us for an exciting Orienteering Competition hosted by FI School’s Class of 2026 and the FI Conservancy


Event Details

 Date: Thursday, August 17

Location: FI School Playground

Time: 1-4PM

What is Orienteering?

Orienteering is a sport in which participants use a map to find various locations, or “controls.”  Take an hour  to find as many controls as you can.  You can compete as an individual, or as a team (up to 3 people).  You can run the course, or walk.  All ages and ability levels are welcome.

How to Register 

To join the fun, contact Mike George at or 585-406-1746. Register before Thursday, August 17, to pay $15 per person. Same-day registrations will be $20 per person. 

The proceeds will support the Class of 2026’s senior class trip.

Win Ice Cream Gift Certificates and More!

The top individual finisher and the top team will receive ice cream gift certificates, generously donated by Toppers. Additionally, the FI Conservancy is giving a gift bag. 

Be Prepared 

We encourage you to bring comfortable shoes and water.  Compasses are not required, but you may bring one; we have a small number that we can loan participants.  The event will be held rain or shine.

For more information about orienteering, check out this article and video:


Nature Days

Join us for a Day of Nature at the Parade Grounds Saturday, August 12th, from 3-6 p.m.

Enter near the theater to explore fun activities and expert-led stations for all ages.


  • Enjoy fun Marine Debris activities with Michele Klimczak
  • See live animals with Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
  • Learn about insect and plants with Professor Adam Mitchell
  • Free Ice Cream Truck
  • Snacks, Drinks & Games

Connect with nature and have fun with family and friends! See you there!

Fishers Island Conservancy Presents

The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea

Show & Performance by
Grumbling Gryphons
Traveling Children’s Theater

Saturday, August 12, 2023
at the Fishers Island Movie Theater

Pre-performance Workshop – 3 PM Sharp!

Performance – 4 PM

Ages 6 & up
Sing Dance, Act & Be in the Show!

To pre-register your children for the workshop, call Michele Klimczak at (631) 800-9394.

On the afternoon of the show from 3:00-3:50pm, Grumbling Gryphons will conduct a pre-performance drama workshop for children ages 6 & up who will train with the actors to become part of the show. Become a “Trash Creature” and join in the “Slimy-Sludge Rap” or dance as a colorful tropical fish in “The Coral Reef Calypso”!

The whole family can get in on the act!

The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea premiered in 1990 as part of an environmental expo – “The Visit of the Mimi” held at Captain’s Cove Seaport in Bridgeport, CT, which thousands of school children attended. With the invaluable input by marine biologist Barbara Whitman and other environmental educators, Leslie Elias created a play that has served as a powerful vehicle for promoting awareness of our planet’s rapidly depleting oceans and endangered marine life. Since 1990 the show has toured the United States, receiving rave reviews for its beautiful artistry and timely message.

Learn more

Coastal debris coordinator, Michele Klimczak has been collecting garbage on Fishers Island for about two decades – and full time for the FI Conservancy since 2018. In these past three years she has helped to remove more than 32,000 pounds of garbage from our shores, with no end in sight. Much of the trash Michele finds is tiny plastics that may be easy to overlook, but can be detrimental to our natural environment.

To learn more about how Michele’s efforts are so vital for the wildlife that inhabit our beach community and why more may need to done beyond our shores to help combat the growing problem, please see the article posted on Inside Climate News:

The ‘Sisyphus of Trash’ Struggles to Clean Relentless Waves of Plastic From a New York Island’s Beaches

Michele Klimczak’s passion for cleaning the beaches of Fishers Island led to a full-time, year-round job, but she still can’t keep up with the flood of plastic waste.

By Devin Speak
Inside Climate News
June 20, 2023

Photo Credit: Devin Speak

Individual Tickets and Sponsorship Opportunities Available! Please join us July 15th to celebrate the work we are doing together to conserve and preserve Fishers Island.

An osprey sitting on a new perch, April 2023 Photo: Jay Cushing

After wintering in warmer climates, migratory birds are returning to their northern breeding grounds and we need your help charting these bird populations.

Please join us with experts, Dr. Adam Mitchell from Tarleton State University, and the University of Delaware team, Emily Baisden and Will Almeida, for our annual spring migratory bird count on Sunday, May 7.

What: FI Conservancy 2023 Spring Migratory Bird Count
When: Sunday, May 7, 8am—10:30am
Where: Meet outside the Fishers Island Community Center & BYOBinoculars

Following Audubon bird count rules, birders will make 15 five-minute stops from the West End to the East End of Fishers Island. At each timed stop, birders count birds and call out what they see. Our experts will lead the count and answer your questions about migratory birds.

We hope to see you at this fun, informative outdoor event, celebrating the spring season at Fishers Island.

FIConservancy Team