Contests & Special Counts
Christmas Bird Count 2018
Posted 4/21/18       
View results of another CBC

Sullivan County Audubon Society has participated in National Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count every year since 1950!  We have not missed a single count in over 60 years!

The data for all of the Christmas Counts conducted all over North America are now available online through the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Our local count has code NYMT and is called the “Monticello, NY” count.  If you want to see the information we have contributed over the years, including the kinds of birds and the numbers found go to the Audubon CBC "Results" page and start by clicking Current Year or Historical at the top of the screen. If you'd like to learn more about the Christmas Bird Count, check out National Audubon's CBC website.

Red-breasted Nuthatch, © Scott Baldinger
Red-breasted Nuthatch
photo © Scott Baldinger
(click photo to enlarge)

This past December 27th, twenty of our members worked to count all of the individual birds they could find in our Christmas Bird Count circle. Six groups divided up the circle and drove a total of 370 miles with an additional 11 miles walked. It was a mild day with almost no snow cover which really spread the birds out. Feeders that were traditionally hotspots seemed less busy this year. But 50 species were still recorded and a healthy 2,638 individual birds were found by our teams.

Arlene Borko's team found an impressive amount of Northern Cardinals on their route. (All teams together found 45 Cardinals for count.) John Haas and Karen Miller counted an astounding number of Common Mergansers and Bald Eagles along the Rio and Mongaup reservoirs. (A total of 256 Common Mergansers and 84 Bald Eagles were found by all the teams.  Remember when there were NO Eagles!)  Scott Baldinger, Joyce Depew, Marlena Lang, and Mark Diedrich had our high numbers of Canada Geese along with other great birds such as Barred Owl and Pine Siskin.

Ruth Mckeon, Kate and Charles Hyden, and Ruth Shursky entertained a journalist from the River Reporter as they scoured the Monticello area. Bill Cutler, Scott Graber, and Kathy Scullion were able to find a great mix of raptors including an Eastern Screech-owl. Patrick and Riley Dechon along with Truth and Maura Muller canvassed the Neversink river and Rock Hill area with a very accomodating Red-shouldered Hawk highlighting their day.

Ring-billed Gull, photo © Steve Davis
Ring-billed Gull
photo © Steve Davis
(click photo to enlarge)
Over the course of the day the teams counted  a total of 124 Wild Turkeys, 224 Black-capped Chickadees, 144 Dark-eyed Juncos, as well as  323 Starlings and  576 Canada Geese, while finding only 1 each of Red-breasted Nuthatch,  Sapsucker, Flicker, Catbird, Herring Gull, Ring-necked Pheasant, and Swamp Sparrow.

Additionally, Field Sparrows, American Wigeon, and Great Blue Heron were all found with the circle during the week of the count. It was another great day in the field for all of our volunteers and the 2020 count is already in the early stages of planning. We can always use more eyes and ears, especially if you have feeders in the count circle!

Records and report compiled by Pat Dechon
Warblings, Spring 2018