Annual bird count documents feathered fowl both rare and common


Blake Heinz

The Christmas Bird Count is a annual citizen-based science event which aids studies in bird trends while tracking population as well as the effect of climate change.

Thirty volunteers observed birds for a total of 19 hours and from dusk to dawn they saw a total of 5,266 birds and a record number of 43 species. This year, the ice free conditions made for the seeing of more waterfowl. Of the 5,266 birds seen, only 8 species made up 4,006 birds. The other 35 were far more rare and made up the 1,260 remaining.

The most commonly viewed bird was the Dark-eyed Junco with a total count of 822; the Canada Goose came in second with a final count of 685. Some birds were rarer with lower counts. The volunteers saw only 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 Common Grackle, 1 Great Blue Heron, and 1 Herring Gull. However, there were about 12 more species with five or less sightings.