Date: 7/7/19 1:14 pm
From: spbroker via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: [CT Birds] Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird appeared on a few Connecticut Christmas Bird Counts in the earliest 1940s, usually just one individual per year. From 1950 through 1962, the Connecticut statewide CBC total for mockingbirds was from 0 to 5 birds. This species showed an exponential increase in numbers on the statewide Connecticut Christmas Bird Count beginning in the 1960s: 22 individuals in 1964-65, 85 in 1966-67, 200 in 1969-70. These dramatic increases continued through the 1970s, with 426 mockingbirds in 1971-72, 653 in 1973-74, 933 in 1974-75, 1,132 in 1976-77, and 1,934 in 1980-81. A record high total of 2,098 mockingbirds was reached in 1981-82. High numbers continue to be counted through the 1980s and into the early 1990s. Since then, there has been a steady, significant decline in Northern Mockingbirds counted on CT CBCs. Here are the average annual numbers for the last 6 five-year periods: 1,771 mockingbirds average count from 1989-90 through 1993-94; 1,525 average count from 1994-95 through 1998-99; 1,307 average count from 1999-2000 through 2003-04; 989 average count from 2004-05 through 2008-09; 641 average count from 2009-10 through 2013-14; 589 average count from 2014-15 through 2018-19. The most recent five-year average count is 33% of the first average count listed above - thus, a 67% decrease in numbers since the late 1980s/early 1990s. The lowest mockingbird count in the last 45 years occurred on the 2013-14 CBC (409 individuals), and this year’s total was second lowest in 45 years, at 495 individuals. (These are raw numbers, not adjusted for total party hours or for the increased numbers of CBCs held in Connecticut - which makes the decline even more significant.) Based on Christmas Bird Count data, Northern Mockingbird is in a 15 to 20 year free fall in our state.

Steve Broker

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