Monday, December 20, 2010

Unofficial results of the 2010 Marathon Christmas Bird Count

The Marathon Christmas Bird Count was conducted on December 19, 2010. Mild temperatures (-8 C to -4 C) and light winds made for a great day to be outdoors. Eleven bird counters contributed to a total of 14 hours tallying birds in the field. Additional watchers monitored seven backyard feeders in Marathon and Heron Bay.
A total of 834 individuals of 32 species were observed.  An additional two species [Long-tailed Duck (33) and Brown-headed Cowbird (1)] were seen during the count week which ends at midnight on Wednesday Dec. 23. [Please let us know if you observe any additional species before then.] The final, official results will be submitted to Bird Studies Canada and the National Audubon Society shortly after.

The complete tally is appended below.

No new species were recorded; however, record high counts (HC's) were tallied for the following:

  • Wilson's Snipe 3 (previous HC of 2 in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007)
  • Pileated Woodpecker 4 (previous HC of 3 in 1994)
  • Blue Jay 27 (previous HC of 9 in 2009)
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet 5 (previous HC of 2 in 1995, 1999, 2001)
  • Fox Sparrow 2 (previous HC of 1 in 2007, 2009)
  • Northern Cardinal 6 (previous HC of 5 in 2007)
Singles of other unusual species (seen in five or fewer of the previous 33 CBCs) included Red-breasted Merganser, Rusty Blackbird and Red-winged Blackbird.

Notably absent were American Robin and waxwings of either species - this is likely attributable to the poor crop of Mountain-ash fruit in our region.

Many thanks to all who participated and especially to those who fought off cold and flu symptoms through the day. We are also grateful to The Friends of Pukaskwa who donated a bird guide drawn as a door prize at the compilation dinner. Nolan (again) won the door prize but generously gave it to Nancy [nicely done Nolan]. Thanks also to Brian Hyshka of the Town of Marathon for enabling access to the landfill site.

We wish you and your families good health, safe travels and happiness in the coming year.

Michael and Martha
(count compilers)

The Complete Tally

Common Goldeneye 8
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Ruffed Grouse 1
Bald Eagle 1
Wilson's Snipe 3
Herring Gull 273
Glaucous Gull 3
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 16
Downy Woodpecker 14
Hairy Woodpecker 10
Black-backed Woodpecker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 4
Gray Jay 15
Blue Jay 27
American Crow 7
Common Raven 171
Black-capped Chickadee 106
Boreal Chickadee 8
Red-breasted Nuthatch 8
Golden-crowned Kinglet 5
European Starling 56
Fox Sparrow 2
White-throated Sparrow 2
Dark-eyed Junco 6
Northern Cardinal 6
Red-winged Blackbird 1
Rusty Blackbird 1
Pine Grosbeak 80
Purple Finch 1
Common Redpoll 8
Evening Grosbeak 1

Count week extras SO FAR: Long-tailed Duck, Brown-headed Cowbird

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