Christmas Bird Count Report

By Gerard McNaughton

Another bird count is in the books.  The annual Hanover/Walkerton Christmas Bird Count took place on Saturday, Dec 20, 2008. It was a cold day, with temperatures, ranging from -19 C in the morning and reaching a high of -9 C.  The sun was shinning on our hardy group as they set out in search of our feathered friends. The day before and after our count were very snowy and strong winds closing many local roads.

At 52 species we tied for the third highest total of species seen and the overall total was just slightly below the 32 year average for this count.  This I think can be contributed to the lower then average numbers of House Sparrow, and European Starling seeking shelter from the cold and staying in barns, and buildings with their flocks. We did have highlights including new record high totals for 4 species. Several other species were recorded on count day that have not been regulars on previous counts, these include Bohemian Waxwings, not seen since 1980 and White-winged Crossbill’s were located by 2 parties.

2008 Hanover/Walkerton Christmas Bird Count

Canada Goose                      26
Mute Swan                             3
American Black Duck             8
Mallard                               345
Bufflehead                               2
Common Goldeneye              16
Hooded Merganser                  2
Common Merganser                2
Sharp-shinned Hawk               3
Coopers Hawk                        3
Northern Goshawk                  1
Accipiter Sp.                           2
Red-tailed Hawk                    51     *** New record high***
Rough-legged Hawk               19
Broad-winged Hawk               1     *** Rare bird documentation
Buteo Sp.                                1
Bald Eagle                               5     ***New record high***
American Kestrel                     7
Ruffed Grouse                         3
Wild Turkey                          81
Ring-billed Gull                      26
Herring Gull                           25
Gull Sp.                                 84
Rock Pigeon                        287
Mourning Dove                    488
Eastern Screech Owl              11      ***New record high***
Snowy Owl                              2
Red bellied Woodpecker          6
Downy Woodpecker               52

Hairy Woodpecker                  27
Pileated Woodpecker                2
Northern Shrike                         5

Blue Jay                                 283
American Crow                    1223
Common Raven                        11     ***New record high***
Black-capped Chickadee        669
Red-breasted Nuthatch             15
White-breasted Nuthatch           53
Brown Creeper                           1
Golden-crowned Kinglet           17
American Robin                          1
European Starling                     604
Bohemian Waxwing                   10
Cedar Waxwing                         91
American Tree Sparrow             46
Dark-eyed Junco                      259
Snow Bunting                           341
Northern Cardinal                      40
Common Grackle                        1
House Finch                              91
White-winged Crossbill              56
Crossbill Sp.                              12
Pine Siskin                               105
American Goldfinch                  786
House Sparrow                        162
Total                             6474

1 additional bird was reported during count week. A Song Sparrow was located
by Clarke Birchard . This makes a grand total of 53 species.

My thanks to all who participated in the count  to make it the success it
was. They included Joy Albrecht, Jerry Asling, Joan Asling, Helen Beaulieu,
Michael Beaulieu, Minerva Cook, Bob Gray, Natalie Gray, Vivianne Hebert,
Fred Jazvac, Judith King, Dorothy Kings, Ralph Knowles, Charlene McNaughton,
Gerard McNaughton, Mike Pickup, Sandy Powell, John Reaume,Kim Sayers, David
Schaus, Jean Schaus, Lynn Stoltzfus, Wanda Szabo, Murray Townsend,

Feeder Watchers: Clarke Birchard, Malcolm Campbell, Doreen Stoot, Ken Watson

Mark your calendars now for next years count will take place on Sat. Dec. 19, 2009, hope to see you there.

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