2020 Christmas Bird Count Summary
by Gary Siegrist
Overcast skies greeted this year’s count with temperatures staying in the mid-to-upper 30’s. Even with the Covid-19 issues we had 13 parties, including three feeder watchers for a total of 25 participants. Time spent compiling in the field totaled 82.55 hours including 3.5 hours watching feeders. Start time for some was 5 a.m. with the last group heading in at 7:30 p.m. Miles traveled was a total of 447.1; by car (432 miles) and walking (15). Miles and hours recorded for owling is kept separate with a total of 7 hours and 56 miles.
Bird species numbered 67 for the CBC. Including the additional 2 count week species, we had a total of 69 species. Individual birds totaled a healthy 12,349 birds. High numbers for species count included Sandhill Crane (5508), Bald Eagle (8), Pileated Woodpecker (5), Red-breasted Nuthatch (16), Carolina Wren (15), and Golden Crown Kinglet (10). There were low numbers recorded for a couple of species, Wild Turkey (24) and House Sparrow (235). Count week species were Northern Mockingbird (1) and Northern Harrier (1).
These next categories are always a favorite of mine. I would classify these bird species to be great finds any year. This year’s group include Short-eared Owl (1), Golden Eagle (1), Trumpeter Swan (4), Red-shoulder Hawk (3), Rough-legged Hawk (3), and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Unusual for any year, sighting the following were cause for celebration Red Crossbill (7), Common Redpoll (41), Virginia Rail (1), and Merlin (1).
Disappointing was the fact that we had with no sighting of Evening Grosbeak. In late fall we had numerous sightings of them in and around the Waterloo area but none on CBC week. Another bird normally seen or heard is the Great Horned Owl, but they were silent this year for the hearty souls listening for them in the early morning. In recent years we have had no luck finding Rough Grouse around their traditional wintering areas. I wonder what has happened to them?
Next year CBC is scheduled for December 18, 2021. Remember to mark it down on your calendar and join us in getting outdoors counting the birds.
|American Black Duck||4|
|Great Blue Heron (Blue form)||1|
|Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)||163|
|Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)||17|
|American Tree Sparrow||337|
|Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)||178|