2017 Christmas Bird Count (CBC) Report

By Chris Cash,
Past President & CBC Chair

The 118th national/40th annual HSV Audubon CBC was held on Monday, December 18, 2017.  We had good weather and fielded five teams (33 field birders) and 18 feeder bird counters.

Overall we counted 3896 birds with 82 identified species and 2 unidentified gull and tern species (a tern species in winter is always great!). There were also some unidentified sparrows and hawks (1 accipiter), but those species are not counted since we did identify other hawks and sparrows.

Numbers were slightly down from 2016, but species count stayed stable. Fluctuations in the population are not unusual as there can be sporadic irruptions of certain species. For example, almost 2000 Red-winged Blackbirds were counted in 2014 and last year we counted approximately 900 American Coots. Both of those unusually high counts skewed the results for those years. This years count was pretty average.

The high count for the day was the Dark-eyed Junco (452). Other notables were: 

  • American Goldfinch (310)
  • White-throated Sparrow (256) 
  • American Crow (200)
  • Cardinals (194) 
  • Canada Goose (180)
  • Tufted Titmouse (161)

We did not identify any rare birds, but did count some uncommon birds. A first for HSV Audubon's CBC was the Sedge Wren. Though not rare, it IS secretive and hard to see. Also uncommon were

  • American Pipit (12) 
  • Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
  • Roadrunner (1)

The count dinner was held the next day, December 19th, at Johnna's at The DeSoto Club. Food and service were excellent, and we all had a great time. The 2018 HSC Audubon CBC will be held Monday, December 17, 2018. Put it on your calendar along with the compilation dinner for Tuesday, December 18. Happy birding between now and then.