Date: 1/8/20 10:41 am
From: Terry Marron <tgmarron...>
Subject: [VTBIRD] Champlain Island CBC tally
Lake Champlain Islands/St. Albans CBC – VTCS

Our count was on December 15, 2019. This was our 33rd count since moving the circle to its current location.

Temperatures were moderate this year (28 to 38 degrees F) and there was very little ice, but winds sometimes in excess of 20 mph presented a challenge. Birds seemed to be "lying low" due to the wind, producing lower than average numbers for many species and a low species count. The wind made nocturnal birding fairly pointless, resulting on no owls found on count day and just one count week Barred Owl to save us from having no owls for the first time since 1987.

We had 33 people in the field and 9 people watching feeders. We logged 4.2 hours (23 miles) of nocturnal birding; 17.25 hours (19 miles) of daytime birding by foot; 66.5 hours (408.8 miles) of daytime birding by car; and 20.25 hours watching feeders.

We ended up with 57 count-day species--well below our average of 66 and quite a drop from 71 last year, but similar to the 58 species in 2017. This compares with a high of 76 count-day species in 2005 and a low of 52 in 1987. The species count was boosted a bit by 5 count-week species, including a first-time bird for our circle--a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Total number of individual birds was 18,128, which was just below last year's count of 18,418 and just below our 32-year average of 19,384 birds. Our total numbers vary greatly depending on the number of Snow Geese reported--7,022 this year. Excluding Snow Geese from all the counts, this year's total was our 6th lowest and about 28% below the non-Snow-Goose average.

Here are a few highlights:
- Red-bellied Woodpecker – 7 Tied previous high counts in 2018 and 2016. This was the 6th consecutive year for this previously rare species.
- Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 1 A new species for the circle, reported in count week.
- Eastern Bluebird – 16 A new high count. Previous high was 14 in 2002.
- American Tree Sparrow – 3 A new low count. Previous low was 35 in 1993.
- House Sparrow - 130 A new low count. Previous low was 142 in 2013.

We had several rare finds:
- Redhead – 1 Found in only 1 previous count (2009).
- White-winged Scoter – 1 Found in only 7 previous counts. This was a count week bird.
- Double-crested Cormorant – 1 Found in only 6 previous counts. This was a count week bird.
- Yellow-rumped Warbler – 2 Found in only 1 previous count (1998).

We had several rare misses:
- Horned Grebe Found in 27 previous counts, but missed for 4th consecutive year.
- Horned Lark Found in 29 previous counts.
- Song Sparrow Found in 28 previous counts.
- Purple Finch Found in 27 previous counts.

The above statistics are based on 33 years of data in our circle's present location. Four earlier years (1983 to 1986), when the circle was located slightly to the north, were excluded. Counts were generally very low in those first few years compared with later counts.
Thanks to all who participated!
--Ken Copenhaver


Snow Goose 7,022
Canada Goose 904
American Black Duck 32
Mallard 562
Redhead 1
Ring-necked Duck 2
Lesser Scaup 14
White-winged Scoter cw
Bufflehead 5
Common Goldeneye 758
Barrow's Goldeneye cw
Hooded Merganser 15
Common Merganser 3,328
duck sp. 20
Ruffed Grouse 1
Wild Turkey 24
Common Loon 3
Double-crested Cormorant cw
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) 3
Bald Eagle 13
Northern Harrier 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2
Cooper's Hawk 4
Red-tailed Hawk 22
Rough-legged Hawk 3
Buteo sp. 1
Ring-billed Gull 145
Herring Gull 105
Great Black-backed Gull 78
gull sp. 46
Rock Pigeon 334
Mourning Dove 153
Barred Owl cw
Red-bellied Woodpecker 7
Downy Woodpecker 47
Hairy Woodpecker 29
Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker 4
Pileated Woodpecker 3
Northern Shrike 1
Blue Jay 137
American Crow 403
Common Raven 9
Black-capped Chickadee 576
Tufted Titmouse 19
White-breasted Nuthatch 98
Brown Creeper 9
Carolina Wren 2
Winter Wren 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet cw
Eastern Bluebird 16
American Robin 165
European Starling 1,870
Cedar Waxwing 320
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler 2
American Tree Sparrow 3
White-throated Sparrow 2
Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco 95
Snow Bunting 3
Northern Cardinal 103
Brown-headed Cowbird 10
House Finch 160
Pine Siskin 17
American Goldfinch 282
House Sparrow 130
Total Individuals 18,128


Count day species 57
Count week (cw) species 5
Total Species 62
 
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