Date: 1/5/21 5:16 pm
From: Paul Anderson <fishoak...>
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Results from the 2021 Christmas Bird Count Ithaca Circle
All:

The Christmas Bird Count and the count week is now over. We had the meeting
last night to unveil the numbers, which many of you probably attended. I
suspect there will be a few minor changes before we're completely done and
ready to upload to Audubon, but I don't think any of the major conclusions
will be upended.

I have uploaded the spreadsheet with the results here:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=18fVU66lwWkJgcXKVIZwiXWMak_TOC9nK. Note
that this has not just the numbers for this year, but all numbers for all
counts back to the first one in 1963. Feel free to download and browse. In
the sheet named '2021', see column V for this year's totals, and columns E
through K for historical data. Also, you can find the map and other
information here:
http://www.cayugabirdclub.org/Resources/christmas-bird-count.

Here's a summary of the interesting information:

- *181 people* participated, breaking the previous record of 165 from
2017
- Participants walked *315 miles* in *305 hours*, and spent another *94
hours* birding from the car, and *24 hours* owling
- We had *89 species* on the day, and *10 count week species*, one of
which is new for the count
- *15 species* had record highs, and two tied the previous record high.
We've never broken so many records before!
- No record lows or big misses, although a few species were much lower
than we have been used to in recent years


We had a great year for woodpeckers and other feeder birds, as well as a
few others. The record high counts were for these species:

- White-winged Scoter
- Turkey Vulture
- Red-bellied Woodpecker
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
- Downy Woodpecker
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Pileated Woodpecker
- Common Raven
- Tufted Titmouse
- Red-breasted Nuthatch
- White-breasted Nuthatch
- Brown Creeper
- Carolina Wren
- Eastern Bluebird
- Hermit Thrush

Ties for record highs:

- Winter Wren
- Northern Saw-whet Owl

Count week species

- Tundra Swan
- Gadwall
- Ring-necked Duck
- Red-breasted Merganser
- Ring-necked Pheasant
- Black Vulture
- Gyrfalcon - this was new for the count
- Peregrine Falcon - we only just today confirmed this sighting on 12/31.
- Northern Shrike
- Snow Bunting


The total number of birds counted was 30,293, about 16% down from the
10-year average.

At the meeting there was lots of speculation about causes for these
numbers. It seems fair to conclude that the record effort yielded record
numbers of birds, a theory that is supported by the fact that we had a
similar amount of effort in 2011 when we also set many records for many of
the same birds. The low total is likely mostly due to our part of the lake
being more empty of birds than we have been used to. Those waterfowl were
just elsewhere on the day.

Finally, although we all agreed that we were sad not to have the in-person
dinner at the Lab, all the area leaders were greatly appreciative of the
extra time to collate numbers. Consequently, we are discussing breaking
with tradition and doing the dinner on the day after the count instead.

Thanks to everyone who participated and helped out. This was fun!

-Paul

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