Christmas Bird Count 2018 Final Report
For all 64 stalwarts who braved a minimum of -70⁰F (OK 7⁰F), blistering winds of 10 miles/hr and a high of 31⁰F, we saw 85 avian species (and a few subspecies of dark-eyed juncos: 488 Oregon, 22 pink-sided and 2 slate-colored plus a total of 217,046 birds. You may ask how 64 stalwarts can see that many birds in a 12 hour period (5AM to 5PM). And it was easy-peasy when there were 200,000 give or take 50,000 or so Starlings (also known as a swarm or a ….load) gathered near a pig farm in the Benson North area. December 15, 2018, was a clear day, air pollution did not reach Cough-Your-Lungs-Out levels (CYLO) during the 88.9 hours in the field, 28.55 hours at feeders and 5.47 hours of nocturnal birding.
Starting with the ducks and gooses, we saw 639 Canada Geese, 459 Gadwalls, 24 American wigeons, 1194 Mallards, 64 Northern Shovelers, 2 Green-winged Teal, 1 Canvasback, 1 Redhead, 380 Ring-necked Ducks, 12 Lesser Scaup, 38 Common Goldeneyes, 31 Barrow’s Goldeneyes and 2 Hooded Mergansers. The Teal, Canvasback and Merganser occurred during 50 percent of the counts in the past 59 years. And that’s it! OK, OK that’s not quite 85 species. So how about the rare birds!
These are the birds that have been seen in 20 years of Christmas Counts or less and the number seen in 2018 (yrs – number). First are the Gray Partridge (18 – 12), then Wild Turkeys (20 – 81) The former are hit-and-miss in 59 years; the latter consistent in the past 20 years. Only one raptor is in this group – the FerruginousHawk (15 – 1). Among the shorebirds, Wilson’s Snipe have been counted during 17 years and this year we saw 19. Next, and you’ll be thrilled with this species, is the Eurasian Collared-dove (14 – 310), ranking as a Not-Even-Close-Yippee-Skippee. The Long-eared Owl is a rarity (13 – 2) as is the Pacific Wren (9 – 1). That the Yellow-rumped Warbler has the tenacity to winter in Cache Valley for 19 out of 59 years is a credit to the species; we saw 15 this year. Almost last but not least is the Fox Sparrow (9 – 1) , followed by a newcomer to Cache Valley, the Lesser Goldfinch (11-39).
Among the usual suspects – 50 years or more – are: Mallard, Ring-necked Pheasant. Northern Harrier aka Marsh Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Killdeer, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Northern Shrike, Black-billed Magpie, American Crow, Horned Lark, Black-capped Chickadee, American Dipper, Townsend’s Solitaire, American Robin, European Starling, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Brewer’s Blackbird, House Finch, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch and the ubiquitous House Sparrow.
Our compiler is the amazing Makenna Johnson aka She-Without-Equal. Thanks to all who leapt into the fray. If you’d like the entire count, please contact me at email@example.com. Take care and please join us this year.
- BAS CBC 2018 Feeder Sector Report Summary
- 21 people (up from 15),
28.55 hrs (up from 19.5)
25 species, (same #, but new this year: Long Eared Owl, Great Horned Owl, Cedar Waxwings, Fox Sparrow, White Crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Turkeys); Not seen this year: Mourning Dove, Mountain Chickadee, Steller’s Jay, Scrub Jay, Bald Eagle, Red-Tailed Hawk)
501 birds (down from 537)
- Feeder Sector Report Summary
- Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 41
Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) 15
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 33
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 3
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 111
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 60
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 24
Fox Sparrow (Slate-colored) (Passerella iliaca) [schistacea Group] 1
House sparrow (Passer domesticus) 15
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 2
Junco plus detailed reporting (grand total juncos 110) (Junco hyemalis) 90
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) (Junco hyemalis hyemalis/carolinensis) 1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis) [oreganus Group] 16
Dark-eyed Junco (Pink-sided) (Junco hyemalis mearnsi) 3
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 2
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 6
Downey Woodpecker (1 male, 1 female) (Dryobates pubescens) 2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 3
Kestrel, American (Falco sparverius) 1
Long-eared Owls (Asio otus) 2
Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) 1
European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)< 16
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) 32
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 11
Ring-necked Pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) 4
Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 1