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Editorial: Lasting impact

Quiet, smiling, unassuming and determined, Mary Pulley joined the rather new Audubon Bird Count to Mathews 40 years ago, became its compiler, and established it as an important and lasting feature in the county’s annual calendar of events.

The count has recorded some good news, such as increasing numbers of bluebirds, and some bad news too, decreasing numbers of other species. Mary Pulley’s work has created nearly a half-century’s worth of solid data for those who track wildlife populations. We feel sure she was deeply pleased by the comeback of the bald eagles, the ospreys and the bluebirds, which were rarities when she started her work.

When the time arrived for the year-end bird count, she got to work. She sent out the notices. She gathered the bird counters. She served hot soup at the end of a long icy Sunday, thawing out the fingers and feet of her fellow census takers. When the years caught up with her, she counted birds out the back window, and still made...

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