The Eagle Nature Foundation (ENF) has announced that Sept 3 will be its Fall Big Bird Day. On that day Terrence Ingram will count as many species of birds that he can see and hear at the Apple Creek Arboretum, Apple Creek Prairie and Apple Creek Woods.

Big Bird Day was started about eight years ago as a way to help document the loss of birds due to agricultural spraying in the area. Before the sprays 60 to 70 species of birds could be seen on most any day during this time of the year. That number of species has dropped to 31 species during last year, a news release says. Members of the public are invited to join Ingram on Big Bird Day as he will be counting from dawn to dusk.

Ingram is a Master Birder and has been a Master Bird Bander for the US Fish & Wildlife Service for more than 50 years. For years he had been a bird instructor at National Audubon Society, Federation of Ontario Naturalists and Eagle Nature Foundation camps in both the United States and Canada. He has studied the birds living in this area for more than 75 years.

When Ingram started his Big Bird Days, he thought that it could be a nice fund raising opportunity for ENF, the release says. Toward that end ENF is asking for pledges or donations for the number of species that he will be able able to document on that day. Pledges and donations may be sent to ENF, 300 East Hickory Street. Apple River, IL 61001.

After the day has been conducted a complete list of species seen, or heard, will be sent to all those people who have sent in pledges. ENF has received close to $840 in donations from the last Big Bird Day.