The Rockford Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, December 16. Pleasant temperatures (28-45) and light winds made it very enjoyable to be out counting birds. There was no snow cover, although 1 participant found enough of the frosty stuff to ski for 1 hour and 1 mile at 0730.
Here are some highlights:
76 species, which is about average for the last 5 years.
Unusual species: 3 Trumpeter Swans, 69 Bald Eagles (new count high), Merlin, 2 E. Phoebes (1st records on this count in 65 years, and new count high), 6 owl species, including 1 Saw-whet (but no Snowy), 18 Pileated Woodpeckers (new count high vs.13), 5 Winter and 2 Carolina Wrens, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 11 Yellow-rumped Warblers (new count high vs 7), 19 White-crowned Sparrows (new count high vs 6), 1 Eastern Towhee, 277 Pine Siskins (new count high).
Red-bellied Woodpecker (225) and Red-breasted Nuthatch (75) each missed a tie with their previous high by 1.
No Horned Larks, Lapland Longspurs, Snow Buntings, Common Redpolls or Northern Shrikes were recorded. Waterfowl species and numbers were also very low. The count of House Finches was only 204 vs our state record all-time high of 806 set in 2009. The crest of that wave has passed.
The Kishwaukee CBC, compiled by Barbara, will take place tomorrow, Dec. 23.