Monday, December 19, 2011

112th Annual Christmas Bird Count

The year 2011 is the 112th CBC, the first official Christmas Bird Count was in the year 1900. There's a pretty long run of citizen science for you.

As we have for over a decade, Tom, Lynn and I each participated in our own regional counts on Saturday, which meant West Campus was not counted that day. Instead we counted here today, and by the official rules we cannot add numbers, only species to the official tally - and only if it's a species that was not found in the New Haven circle on Saturday.

Two years ago our Barred Owl was added as one of these "count week" species. Today we weren't able to add any new species, but put in a good birding effort anyway.

Here are the results:

number in party: 3 (Lynn, me, Tom)
party hours: 7 (6:45 to 2:15 with a lunch break)
weather conditions: cold 20-28F, clear and calm in the early morning, partly cloudy and breezy through the mid-day.
no snow, moving water was open, still water with thin ice
number of species: 34
number of individual birds: 454

31 Canada Goose
1 Mute Swan
5 Wild Turkey
1 Turkey Vulture
4 Red-tailed Hawk

75 Ring-billed Gull
20 Herring Gull
30 Rock Pigeon
10 Mourning Dove
3 Red-bellied Woodpecker

6 Downy Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
7 Blue Jay
40 American Crow
1 Fish Crow

8 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Tufted Titmouse
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Carolina Wren
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

1 Hermit Thrush
50 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
2 Northern Mockingbird
43 European Starling

9 Song Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
14 White-throated Sparrow
1 White-crowned Sparrow
2 Dark-eyed Junco

14 Northern Cardinal
45 House Finch
10 American Goldfinch
20 House Sparrow

An excellent birding effort - beats our 2009 number by one, and the 2010 number by several - but last year's search was hampered by two feet of snow on the ground!

2010 results here
2009 results here

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