2020 Christmas Bird Count results

Thank you all for helping on the 2020 Christmas Bird Count on December 19th.

 

Some interesting observations:

 

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic and partly cloudy skies with breezy winds, our total count was  UP to 22865, a 39% increase  compared to 16446 in 2019;  22330 in 2018;  19,247 in 2017; 21,266 in 2016;  23,272 in 2015.  The increase  in numbers in 2020 was due to  a 662% increase in Lesser Scaup.  A decrease of 75% in Tree Swallows lessened the increase.

 

On count day we saw 125 species, an increase of 4% versus 120 in 2019; 136 in 2018; 137 in 2017; 140 in 2016; 133 in 2015; 125 in 2014; 143 in 2013.  For count week we saw 135 species, an increase of 8% versus 125 in 2019; 140 in 2018; 144 in 2017; 145 in  2016; 133 in 2015.

 

Even though the pandemic lowered the number of participants, we had over 50 participants who spent over 100 hours in search of birds by foot, car, golf cart, or boat, and covered over 350 miles by land or sea.

 

Of note, we recorded on count day for the first time ever Bell’s Vireo, and  Orange-crowned Warbler.

 

There were 20 birds that we recorded through count week in 2020 but not in 2019:  Least Bittern, Coot, Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, Horned Grebe, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Snail Kite, Virginia Rail, Redhead, Black Skimmer, Sora, Green-winged Teal, Brown Thrasher, Rudy Turnstone, Bell’s Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Whip-poor-will and Hairy Woodpecker.  There were 9 birds that we did not record through count week in 2020 but did in 2019:   Purple Gallinule, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Merlin,  Barn Owl, Black-bellied Plover, American Redstart, Northern Shoveler, Summer Tanager and Cedar Waxwing.

 

Of the birds we did see, there were 10 species that had at least a 65% decline:  Brown-headed Cowbird, Rock Pigeon, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Ring-billed Gull, White Pelican, Least Sandpiper, Roseate Spoonbill,  Tree Swallow, Royal Tern, and Lesser Yellowlegs.

 

Counts were up at least 200% for 9 species including Northern Bobwhite, American Crow, Long-billed Dowitcher, Scrub Jay, Black-crowned Night Heron, Lesser Scaup, Blue-winged Teal, Downy Woodpecker and Common Yellowthroat.

 

There can be wide fluctuations in counts from one year to the next as with Northern Bobwhite, Long-billed Dowitcher, Scrub Jay, Black-crowned Night Heron and Blue-winged Teal, which declined more than 65% in 2019, but rose more than 200% in 2020.  The opposite held true for Ring-billed Gull, Black-bellied Plover and Least Sandpiper,  which increased more than 200% in 2019, but declined more than 65% in 2020.

 

                     2020 The top 10 birds                                                             2019 The top 10 birds                                                       
accounting for 79% of the total sightings were:                 accounting for 66% of the total sightings were:
           1.    Lesser Scaup 11705       (51%)                                      1.   Tree  Swallows 2142     (13%);
           2.    Mourning Dove    945                                                    2.   Mourning Dove    1887;
           3.    Double-crested Cormorant    898                              3.   Lesser Scaup   1537;
          4.     White Ibis   846                                                                4.   Common Grackle 1038;
          5.     European Starling  782                                                  5.   White Ibis 956;
          6.     Boat-tailed Grackle   771                                              6.   Double-crested Cormorant 784;
          7.     Common Grackle   756                                                  7.   European Starling 711;
          8.     Tree Swallow   528                                                          8.   Boat-tailed Grackle 690;
          9.     Turkey Vulture   469                                                       9.   Ring-billed Gull 690;
         10.    Laughing Gull   393                                                         10.   Laughing Gull 486;

 

Turkey Vulture was added to the top ten, while Ring-billed Gull was deleted;  otherwise all the other species just changed their rankings.

 

The following 6 birds had equal to or higher totals than in any of the last 20 years: Northern Bobwhite, Indigo Bunting, American Crow, Long-billed Dowitcher, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher and Northern Parula

 

There were 21 birds that are seen occasionally which we did not record through count week in the last two years:  American Bittern, Short-billed Dowitcher, Ring-necked Duck, Dunlin,  Marbled Godwit, Horned Grebe, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red Knot, Red-breasted Merganser, Burrowing Owl, Clapper Rail, Sanderling, Sora,  Bachman’s Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Hermit Thrush,  American Wigeon, Marsh Wren and Sedge Wren.
If you are interested, I can send you the 20 year comparison.

 

 

Common Name of bird 2020     % 20 to 19 2019
Anhinga 122 -1% 123
Bittern American  0 0
Bittern Least 3 *** 0
Blackbird Brewer’s  0 0
Blackbird Red-winged  26 -59% 63
Blackbird Rusty  0 0
Bluebird Eastern  11 -45% 20
Bobwhite Northern  21 2000% 1
Bufflehead cw 2
Bunting Indigo  9 80% 5
Bunting, Painted 5 -38% 8
Canvasback 0 0
Caracara, Crested 2 100% 1
Cardinal Northern  55 12% 49
Catbird Gray  111 54% 72
Coot American  7 *** 0
Cormorant Double-crested  898 15% 784
Cowbird Brown-headed  1 -99% 136
Cowbird Shiny 0 0
Crane Sandhill  16 -27% 22
Crow American  98 345% 22
Crow Fish  227 -36% 357
Dove Common Ground 26 -19% 32
Dove Eurasian Collared 70 -5% 74
Dove Mourning  945 -50% 1887
Dove Ringed Turtle 0 0
Dove Rock (Rock Pigeon) 25 -86% 183
Dove, White-winged 83 196% 28
Dowitcher Short-billed  0 0
Dowitcher Long-billed  56 2700% 2
Duck Mallard 3 *** 0
Duck Mottled 170 -11% 191
Duck, Mallard/Mottled  0 0
Duck Muscovy  45 22% 37
Duck Ring-necked  cw *** 0
Duck Ruddy  1 *** 0
Duck Whistling-Black Bellied 20 -93% 304
Duck, Wood 0 0
Dunlin 0 0
Eagle Bald  22 5% 21
Egret Cattle  87 -41% 148
Egret Great  123 -24% 161
Egret Reddish  0 0
Egret Snowy  59 16% 51
Falcon, Peregrine 0 0
Finch, House 3 0% 3
Flicker Northern (Yellow-shafted)  11 22% 9
Flycatcher Great Crested  2 -50% 4
Flycatcher, Least 0 0
Frigatebird Magnificent  0 0
Gadwall 0 0
Gallinule Common 124 176% 45
Gallinule Purple 0 -100% 2
Gnatcatcher Blue-gray  141 25% 113
Godwit, Marbled 0 0
Goldeneye Common  0 0
Goldfinch American  36 157% 14
Goose Snow  0 0
Grackle Boat-tailed  771 12% 690
Grackle Common  756 -27% 1038
Grebe Eared 0 0
Grebe Horned  cw      *** 0
Grebe Pied-billed  15 -38% 24
Gull Bonaparte’s 0 0
Gull Franklin’s 0 0
Gull Great Black-backed 0 0
Gull Herring  4 -33% 6
Gull Laughing  393 -19% 486
Gull Ring-billed 47 -93% 627
Harrier Northern 5 150% 2
Hawk Cooper’s  cw 6
Hawk Red-shouldered 55 -24% 72
Hawk Red-tailed  4 33% 3
Hawk Sharp-shinned  cw        *** 0
Hawk, Short-tailed cw *** 0
Hawk,Broad-winged 0 0
Hawk, Swainson’s 0 0
Heron Great Blue  (Blue form) 96 -9% 105
Heron Great Blue  (White form) 0 0
Heron Green 9 -47% 17
Heron Little Blue  71 -34% 107
Heron Tricolored 27 -21% 34
Hummingbird Ruby-throated  0 0
Ibis Glossy  136 -42% 233
Ibis White  846 -12% 956
Jay Blue  126 22% 103
Jay Scrub 21 600% 3
Kestrel American 13 -24% 17
Killdeer 89 25% 71
Kingbird,Eastern 0 0
Kingfisher Belted  15 -35% 23
Kinglet Ruby-crowned  0 -100% 1
Kite Snail 1 *** 0
Knot Red  0 0
Limpkin 20 -44% 36
Loon Common 1 -50% 2
Meadowlark Eastern  29 93% 15
Merganser Hooded  15 -61% 38
Merganser Red-breasted 0 0
Merlin 0 cw
Mockingbird Northern  219 -22% 280
Night-Heron Black-crowned  11 267% 3
Night-Heron Yellow-crowned 7 -53% 15
Nuthatch Brown-headed  cw  #VALUE! 4
Oriole, Northern 0 0
Osprey 53 -27% 73
Ovenbird 1 0% 1
Owl Burrowing  0 0
Owl Eastern Screech cw 2
Owl Great Horned  3 50% 2
Owl,Barred 2 100% 1
Owl, Barn 0 -100% 3
Oystercatcher American  0 0
Parakeet Monk  24 50% 16
Parula, Northern 3 50% 2
Pelican Brown  45 -63% 121
Pelican White  8 -78% 36
Phoebe Eastern  26 13% 23
Pintail Northern  0 0
Pipit, American 0 0
Plover Black-bellied 0 -100% 27
Plover Semipalmated  71 *** 0
Rail Clapper  0 0
Rail, King 1 0% 1
Rail, Virginia 1 *** 0
Redhead 1 *** cw
Redstart, American 0 xxx cw
Robin American  94 -38% 151
Sanderling 0 0
Sandpiper Least  2 -96% 47
Sandpiper Spotted  11 83% 6
Sandpiper Western  0 0
Sapsucker Yellow-bellied  5 150% 2
Scaup Lesser 11705 662% 1537
Scaup, Greater 0 0
Scoter, Black 0 0
Shoveler Northern  0 xxx cw
Shrike Loggerhead  167 14% 147
Skimmer Black  77 *** 0
Snipe, Wilson’s 5 150% 2
Sora cw    *** 0
Sparrow Bachman’s  0 0
Sparrow Chipping  0 0
Sparrow Grasshopper  0 0
Sparrow House  16 -58% 38
Sparrow Savannah  2 -50% 4
Sparrow Song  0 0
Sparrow Swamp  3 0% 3
Sparrow, Vesper 0 0
Sparrow, White-throated 0 0
Spoonbill Roseate  1 -89% 9
Starling European  782 10% 711
Stork Wood 36 -45% 66
Swallow Barn  0 0
Swallow Northern Rough-winged  0 0
Swallow Tree  528 -75% 2142
Swan Mute 0 0
Tanager, Scarlet  0 0
Tanager, Summer 0 -100% 2
Teal Blue-winged  34 1600% 2
Teal Green-winged  1 *** 0
Tern Caspian 0 0
Tern Common  0 0
Tern Forster’s  17 70% 10
Tern Royal  20 -71% 69
Tern Sandwich  5 -50% 10
Thrasher Brown  1 *** 0
Thrush Hermit 0 0
Titmouse Tufted 2 xxx cw
Towhee Eastern  17 13% 15
Turkey Wild 0 0
Turnstone Ruddy  cw    *** 0
Vireo, Bell’s 1 ***
Vireo, Solitary (Blue-headed) 2 -50% 4
Vireo White-eyed  6 100% 3
Vireo Yellow-throated  0 0
Vulture Black 332 10% 301
Vulture Turkey  469 74% 269
Warbler Black-and-white  5 0% 5
Warbler, Orange-crowned 1 ***
Warbler Palm  160 74% 92
Warbler Pine  128 -1% 129
Warbler Prairie  2 -33% 3
Warbler Yellow-rumped (Myrtle)  306 64% 187
Warbler Yellow-throated  10 -9% 11
Warbler Yellow 0 0
Warbler Black-throated Blue 0 0
Waxwing Cedar  0 -100% 1
Whip-poor-will 1 *** 0
Wigeon, American 0 0
Willet 9 0% 9
Woodcock, American 0 0
Woodpecker Downy 11 267% 3
Woodpecker Hairy  1 *** 0
Woodpecker Pileated  16 60% 10
Woodpecker Red-bellied  104 22% 85
Woodpecker Red-cockaded  3 -25% 4
Woodpecker Red-headed  1 -50% 2
Wren Carolina  16 129% 7
Wren House  14 -13% 16
Wren Sedge  0 0
Wren,Marsh 0 0
Yellowlegs Greater  9 29% 7
Yellowlegs Lesser  2 -90% 20
Yellowthroat Common  21 250% 6
Yearly Totals 22866 39% 16446
Number of species count day   125 4% 120
Number of species count week 135 8% 125