Christmas Bird Count December 17th

Bluebirds Athol CBC 12-20-2014 Mary Adams (1)

We pulled off our 49th annual Athol Christmas Bird Count. 53 species of birds observed on count day with another 4 species on count week (3 days before and 3 days after). Tabulation has been slow as we canceled the formal tally due to the weather and I am very pleased with the exceptionally high number of folks who submitted feeder counts which helped buoy our list over 50 species.

Frozen water, 6 – 8 inches of snow and cold temperatures didn’t dissuade the field teams from covering their routes. Waterfowl numbers and species we34re down a bit with all the ice. We hold the Athol count each year on the first available Saturday in hopes of having open water which didn’t happen this year. The 4 Belted Kingfishers bucked that trend. Raptors were found mostly in the vicinity of feeders with a Goshawk and Merlin near Downtown Athol and a Red-shouldered in Petersham helping to boost that group.  Winter Finches were sparse with only 3 Purple Finches, 6 Pine Siskins, 1 Redpoll, and count week Evening Grosbeaks as highlights.

Notables included 2 Hermit Thrushes, 2 Fox Sparrows, 1 Swamp Sparrow, 2 Mockingbirds, 1 Winter Wren, and a count week Northern Shrike which made a brief appearance at the new Market Basket the day before the count.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Below is a draft list of species and the number of each observed on count day. “cw” refers to observed in count week.  The middle column gives the number of counts out of the 48 previous counts held in Athol which gives us a hint to relative rarity.

To learn more about the National Audubon Christmas Count and how you can help in the remaining counts check out http://www.audubon.org/join-christmas-bird-count

Species Count Total 53 Counts  TOTAL
  Of 48  
SPECIES   7257
Canada Goose 30 8
Am. Black Duck 40 8
Mallard 31 107
Common Merganser 36 1
Ringed-Neck Pheasant 42 cw
Ruffed Grouse 41 1
Wild Turkey 31 168
Bald Eagle 36 cw
Sharp-Shinned Hawk 35 2
Coopers Hawk 25 7
Northern Goshawk 16 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 4 1
Red-Tailed Hawk 39 8
Merlin 5 1
Ring-Billed Gull 25 2
Rock (Dove) Pigeon 48 464
Mourning Dove 47 392
Great Horned Owl 27 2
Barred Owl 32 6
Saw-Whet Owl 27 2
Belted Kingfisher 21 4
Red-bellied woodpecker 17 36
Downy Woodpecker 48 116
Hairy Woodpecker 48 41
Northern Flicker 19 2
Pileated Woodpecker 37 4
Northern Shrike 27 cw
Blue Jay 48 530
American Crow 48 131
Common Raven 29 33
Black-capped Chickadee 48 1234
Tufted Titmouse 48 354
Red-Breasted Nuthatch 46 22
White-Breasted Nuthatch  48 150
Brown Creeper  47 2
Carolina Wren 23 10
Winter Wren 4 1
Eastern Bluebird 15 27
Hermit Thrush 9 2
American Robin 44 310
Northern Mockingbird 42 2
Starling 48 438
Cedar Waxwing 32 239
American Tree Sparrow 48 105
Fox Sparrow 9 2
Song Sparrow 44 14
Swamp Sparrow 10 1
White-Throated Sparrow 46 32
Dark-eyed Junco 48 980
Northern Cardinal 48 204
Purple Finch 40 3
House Finch 36 130
Common Redpoll 21 1
Pine Siskin 33 6
American Goldfinch 48 516
Evening Grosbeak 40 cw
House Sparrow 48 394
    7257

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