Contests & Special Counts
Christmas Bird Count 2022
Posted 03/14/23     
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On December 28th, 5 field parties and 3 feeder watchers set out for our annual Audubon Christmas Count. Between all the parties we drove 332.5 miles and walked over 10 miles. The day started off being partly cloudy and ended up with clear skies. The temperature ranged from 24 to 44 degrees which made it very pleasurable. The lakes were frozen but moving water was open.

We ended up with a total of 2880 birds of 57 species. New to the count was a Tundra Swan at the Bashakill. On his way home John Haas spotted the bird and got word out to all the teams. We were all able to see it. Other unusual birds were a Ruddy Duck, which has only been found on two counts. A Black Vulture and a Turkey Vulture have also only been found on two other counts. Rusty Blackbirds have been seen 9 times now. Hairy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches and House Sparrows have been found on every count. American Crow and Goldfinch were missed on one count. Unfortunately, a Screech Owl was a no-show for count day, but was tallied on count week along with a Wood Duck. Mourning Doves gave us the highest count ever, 360! Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers joined their rank, too, with 7 being seen that day.

I will give a few statistics from over the years. The first number will be what was counted this year, with the second being a high count from past years. These numbers have been influenced by weather, habitat loss, the closing of the landfill, less people feeding the birds (Empty feeders are seen everywhere.), and the overall decline of all birds.
This year's count / Highest Ever Count
Canada Geese 287/1073,
Mallard 65/440,
Ring-billed Gull 12/752,
Pigeon 58/286,
Crow 131/563,
Chickadee 279/1118,
Starling 296/1480,
Junco 242/1319,
House Finch 33/235,
Goldfinch 57/614, and
House Sparrow 145/646.

I would like to thank Scott Baldinger, Mary Busky, Marlene Lange, Karen Miller, Jodi Brodsky, Kathy Scullion, Scott Graber, Bill Cutler, Mary Collier, Marge Gorton, Arlene Borko, Deanna Mendels and Pat Cocot for all the effort they put into this project. Iím sure they all feel, like me, that this is something we all look forward to every year. It is fun and invigorating and a great way to get out and do the thing that we all love, birdwatching!

Renee Davis