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Christmas Bird Count Numbers 2019

By Ranger Steve Mueller

Ranger Steve Mueller

Forty-eight species were seen (Table 1) by 39 field observers and three bird feeder watchers on 28 Dec 2019. 

Total individuals sighted was 6,376 compared with 14,442 in 2015; 9,342 in 2016; 6,161 in 2017; and 6,909 in 2018. The number of individual birds sighted was down compared with 3 of the last 4 years. The fewer number this year might be a result of warm weather conditions causing birds to disperse more. Water birds were not restricted to small areas of open water by ice. Terrestrial birds could search large areas instead of concentrating around bird feeders. 

The day was cloudy with the temperature between 28º and 40ºF. There was no snow coverage. Still water had a thin ice covering and flowing waters were open.

We totaled 59 hours traveling in vehicles for 533 miles. 10.75 hours was spent on foot covering 17.5 miles and 6 hours was watching feeders. A combined total of 550.5 miles was on foot and driving. Groups totaled 69 hours of daytime birding. There were 15 birding parties in the morning, 4 in the afternoon and 3 feeder watchers. 

In the predawn, 20 miles was traveled in one hour where owling found two Eastern Screech Owls and one Great Horned Owl. 

Wittenbach/Wege Agri-science and Environmental Education Center (WWC) co-hosted the count with Grand Rapids Audubon Club. WWC facility use is appreciated for our base station. Visit and enjoy the WWC trails that are open 24/7.

Mark your calendars for Jan. 2, 2021 to participate in the 2020 Christmas Bird Count. 

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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