Audubon Christmas Birdcount Comments
by: Irene Doyle 

    Here are a few facts about the Audubon Christmas Birdcount which is done across North America each year, during a two week period between December 14th and January 5. Birds which are not mentioned are pretty well staying stable around the same numbers each year. I have been keeping a record since 1992 and here are some of the differences I have found.

    During the 1992-93 count a total of 516 American Crows were found compared to 28 this year. Common Ravens have also decreased some while Black-capped Chickadees have steadily increased from 285 during the 1992-93 count to 462 this year. The Bohemian Waxwings numbered 485 last year compared to 81 this year. Quite a few Hawks were seen during the count period although not on the count day. Also during the count period which was between December 15 and January 4th, there were 175 or so Canada Geese spotted in the area.

    Common Mergansers were rare from the 1992-93 to 1999-00 count with from 0 to 3 in first years to 218 last year to 190 or more this year, no doubt because of opened waters and they were mainly all males. There was the regular sighting of one or two Bald Eagle. Common Redpolls keep showing up every other year in great numbers. Dark-eyed Juncos went from 30 in 1992-3 to 5 this year. Evening Grosbeak also seem to be decreasing some.

    Greater Black-backed Gulls went from 285 in 1992-93 to 1 last year and 33 this year. Herring Gulls dropped from 450 in 1992-93 to 75 this year with small numbers during other counts in between.

    Mourning Doves increasing from 0 between 1992-93 to 1998-99 with 3 or 4 a few years back until this year when they numbered 30.

    First sighting this year on count day : Was a gorgeous Snowy Owl in Campbellton

    Rarer sightings for count day this year: Red-wing Blackbird, Red-tail Hawk, Iceland Gull, Common Grackle, American Robin.


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