|  Home  |   About us  |   Programs & Projects  |   Calendar  |   Birding  |   Blog  |   Get Involved  |

Monday, December 19, 2011

51st Plainfield Christmas Bird Count

“Atypical” would be a good word to describe the 51st Plainfield Christmas Bird Count. Warm temperatures leading up to the count and the absence of snow likely played a role in the birds we encountered. While the number of species seen (37) was higher than average, the total number of individuals was rather low. Many of the “common” birds were sparse, and extremely low counts were reported for many species including chickadees, nuthatches, blue jays, and woodpeckers. With an abundance of open ground and hence plenty of foraging area for birds, it is possible that the usual year-round residents were dispersed across a larger area than normal, rather than being concentrated at feeders.

While most birds were hard to find, some appeared in record numbers. New high counts were set for American Robin and Canada Goose, both of which have likely been taking advantage of the mild weather. Other lingering birds included a White-throated Sparrow and a Red-winged Blackbird, both found visiting feeders during the count day. An immature Herring Gull, the first on the count in 12-years, was also probably taking advantage of the unusually large amount of open water in the count circle.

The crown jewel of this year’s CBC had to be a Golden Eagle observed near Marshfield Mountain. Not only are Golden Eagles rare year-round, they are especially rare outside of fall migration, which typically tapers off in mid-November. This was the first Golden Eagle on the count in its 50-year history.
Preliminary results of the Plainfield CBC are shown below:

Canada Goose 830
Mallard 6
Hooded Merganser 3
Common Merganser 2
Ruffed Grouse 5
Wild Turkey 83
Bald Eagle 1
Red-tailed Hawk cw
Herring Gull 1
Rock Pigeon 77
Mourning Dove 44
Downy Woodpecker 20
Hairy Woodpecker 25
Pileated Woodpecker 2
Blue Jay 54
American Crow 175
Common Raven 14
Black-capped Chickadee 481
Tufted Titmouse 9
Red-breasted Nuthatch 25
White-breasted Nuthatch 23
Brown Creeper 5
Golden-crowned Kinglet 7
American Robin 27
European Starling 207
Cedar Waxwing 32
American Tree Sparrow 17
White-throated Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 35
Northern Cardinal 9
Red-winged Blackbird 1
Purple Finch 13
House Finch 14
Pine Siskin 61
American Goldfinch 266
Evening Grosbeak 18
House Sparrow 6

No comments:

Post a Comment