Started in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count is North America’s longest-running Citizen Science project. Counts happen in over 2000 localities throughout the Western Hemisphere.
The information collected by thousands of volunteer participants forms one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife survey data. The results are used daily by conservation biologists and naturalists to assess the population trends and distribution of birds.
Each Christmas Bird Count is conducted on a single day between December 14 and January 5. Counts are carried out within a 24-km diameter circle that stays the same from year to year. They are organized, usually as group efforts, at the local level, often by a birding club or naturalist organization.
2019/20 Canadian Summary
By Yousif Attia, Citizen Science Coordinator, Birds Canada
The long running Christmas Bird Count (CBC) has been represented in Canada since the very beginning, when two of the first ever counts were held in New Brunswick and Ontario in the year 1900. Since then, the early winter bird survey has been providing data for conservation biologists and environmental planners to assess the population trends and distribution of birds. A total of 469 Christmas Bird Count (CBC) circles submitted results for the 120th season. Seven new counts were registered for the 2019-20: Buffalo Pound P.P. (SK), (BC), Grand Falls-Windsor (NL), Hornepayne (ON), Kuskanook (BC), Sable Island (NS), and Viking (AB). More than three million individual birds of 296 species were recorded by 11,170 field counters and 3,647 feeder counters.
Weather during the CBC was varied across the country. Some counts reported challenging birding conditions early in the period (the CBC period is December 14 through January 5), although generally, conditions were favorable. Atlantic provinces experienced a mild fall, which resulted in many birds lingering, or being blown in from south and west. This was followed by a cold and abrupt early winter that concentrated birds at bodies of water and feeders. Temperatures during December in Québec were lower than average, and many waterbodies froze by count period. November brought a cold and early start to winter in Ontario reducing many waterbodies, although temperatures during the count period were typical. Low temperatures came even earlier to the Prairie provinces, coupled with heavy snowfall in parts. British Columbia was generally seasonal although coastal areas received colder weather early on that may have contributed to lower species diversity. Temperatures during the CBC period were average across the country. The coldest count award for the 120th was a three-way tie between Hay River (NT), Oak Hammock (MB), and Shell Lake (SK) at-33 degrees Celsius, compared to -30 degrees Celsius at Hudson, QC last year.
The top 15 most abundant species reported on Canadian counts during the 120th CBC season, listed from highest to lowest, were: Canada Goose, European Starling, American Crow, Mallard, Rock Pigeon, Black-capped Chickadee, House Sparrow, Snow Goose, Herring Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Northwestern Crow, Greater Scaup, American Goldfinch, Blue Jay, and Long-tailed Duck. Common Raven was the most widespread species, detected on more counts than any other species.
No new species were added to the all-time Canadian list during the 120th CBC, which stands at 438 species. The Atlantic provinces enjoyed many rare treats including a count day Pink-footed Goose (St. Johns, NL), a Semipalmated Sandpiper (Cape Race, NL), a count week Seaside Sparrow (Wolfville, NS), a Lark Bunting (Broad Cove, NS), and several wood-warblers including a Hermit Warbler (St. Johns, NL). The Atlantic provinces produced North American highest count of Tufted Ducks (64; St. Johns, NL), Dovekie (6990; Brier Island, NS), Thick-billed Murre (20; Ferryland, NL), Black Guillemot (165; Cape Race, NB), Iceland Gull (1588; St. Johns, NL), and Great Black-backed Gull (3200; Sable Island, NS). Québec recorded the highest count of Glaucous Gull (65) from a circle (Longueuil) and enjoyed a Lark Sparrow and a Scarlet Tanager (both Montreal). Possibly the most out of place record for Ontario was a very lost Northern Fulmar, a pelagic species, on the Ottawa River (Ottawa-Gatineau). Some other odd lingering neotropical species for Ontario included a Swainson’s Thrush (Toronto), a Wilson’s Warbler (London), and two Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (one at London, one at Minden). In the middle of the country, Saskatchewan added a new species to the all-time provincial list, a Pacific Loon (Gardiner Dam). Like last year, the rarest species for Alberta during the season was found during count week, this time a Green-tailed Towhee (Fort McMurray). A count week “Bewick’s” Tundra Swan and a Northern Mockingbird (both Lethbridge) also deserve mention. In British Columbia, a Red-throated Pipit (Victoria), and a Great Egret (Abbotsford-Mission) were noteworthy. Two records from Haida Gwaii, Common Snipe (Skidegate Inlet) and Fieldfare (Rose Spit) are pending review by Bird Records Committee.
Surf Scoters Photo: Yousif Attia
Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, and Yukon Territory reported lower species diversity compared to last year. The remaining Atlantic provinces, Nunavut, Québec, and Saskatchewan all reported more species than during the 119th. British Columbia had the highest diversity, reporting 211 species, followed by Ontario (182), Nova Scotia (173) and a tie between New Brunswick and Québec (134). Historical or current year results by count or species can be found on the Audubon website now. CBC data have been used widely by researchers and wildlife biologists to develop hundreds of conservation planning documents and peer-reviewed scientific publications. Recently, CBC data were used to determine that the size of North America’s bird population has decreased by nearly three billion birds compared to only 50 years ago! If not for long-term monitoring programs like the CBC, birds would be far worse off. Check out the CBC bibliography on the Audubon website. All provincial and territorial counts are summarized in Table 1.
A special thanks goes out to compilers, who spend hours recruiting and organizing participants on the ground and rounding up and entering data. Thank you also to the regional editors who carefully ensure all CBC data are reviewed every year. The CBC would not be possible without the efforts of thousands of volunteer Citizen Scientists.
Birds Canada manages the Christmas Bird Count in Canada with US partner, National Audubon Society.
Table 1. 2019-20 Christmas Bird Count Summary
|Counts||Species1||Individuals||Field Counters||Feeder Counters||Highest Species Total 2019-20||Highest Species Total 2018-19|
|AB||61||116||226,605||1308||705||Calgary (64)||Calgary (73)|
|BC||86||211||787,179||2904||533||Victoria (135)||Victoria (144)|
|MB||21||74||52,157||347||203||Brandon (43)||Winnipeg (52)|
|NB||30||134||93,661||448||213||Grand Manan Island (63)||Grand Manan Island (69)|
|NL||11||111||37,445||144||50||St. Johns (67)||St. Johns (75)|
|NS||35||173||193,212||702||314||Halifax-Dartmouth (105)||Halifax-Dartmouth (122)|
|NT||3||25||3682||38||10||Fort Smith (16)||Fort Smith (14)|
|NU||1||3||185||2||0||Rankin Inlet (2)||Rankin Inlet (2)|
|ON||126||182||1,222,864||3697||1173||Blenheim (104)||Long Point (117)|
|PE||3||74||18,546||63||12||Hillsborough (47)||Prince Edward Island N.P. (54)|
|QC||41||134||260,116||974||230||Montreal (74)||Montreal (69)|
|SK||44||90||113,258||471||140||Gardiner Dam (45)||Regina (41)|
|YT||7||39||8,167||109||46||Whitehorse (27)||Whitehorse (24)|
- Includes species detected during Count Week
2019/20 Canadian High Counts Article
During the 120th Christmas Bird Count (CBC) in Canada, counts reported 289 species, an increase of four species from last year, and 11 infraspecific forms. Seven additional species, Barnacle Goose, Atlantic Puffin, California Scrub-Jay, Green-tailed Towhee, Vesper Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow, and Indigo Bunting were recorded only during count week. The all-time Canadian species list sits at 438 species.
Each of Canada’s ten provinces and two out of three territories scored at least one species high count during the 120th CBC season. British Columbia recorded the most species high counts of all the Canadian regions (135), followed by Ontario (73) and Nova Scotia (32). Victoria, BC was the circle to achieve the most species high counts (41), followed by White Rock (12) and a tie (11) between St. Johns, NL, and Halifax-Dartmouth, NS. Twelve of the high counts in the 120th CBC season are new all-time Canadian highs (numbers boldfaced). Forty-eight high counts are high counts not only for Canada, but all North America (numbers italicized). Two species are considered pending and under review by the Bird Records Committee (species underlined). One hypothetical species, Common Snipe (BC, Skidegate Inlet), if accepted will be new to the all-time Canadian species list. Unestablished exotics and hybrids are excluded from this list.
Snow Goose 67,273 (QC, St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu); Greater White-fronted Goose 32 (BC, Tlell); Pink-footed Goose 1 (NL, St. Johns); Brant 555 (BC, White Rock); Cackling Goose 1871 (BC, White Rock); Canada Goose 47,551 (AB, Lethbridge); Mute Swan 534 (ON, Prince Edward Point); Trumpeter Swan 1041 (BC, Chilliwack); Tundra Swan 9736 (ON, Blenheim); Wood Duck 255 (BC, Victoria); Blue-winged Teal 1 (NS, Sable Island; ON, Linwood); Northern Shoveler 303 (BC, Duncan); Gadwall 236 (BC, Victoria); Eurasian Wigeon 45 (BC, White Rock); American Wigeon 5548 (BC, White Rock); Mallard 44,175 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A.); American Black Duck 3758 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A.); Northern Pintail 3311 (BC, White Rock); Green-winged Teal (Eurasian) 1 (BC, Greater Masset, Victoria; NL, St. Johns); Green-winged Teal (American) 1254 (BC, Greater Masset); Canvasback 2326 (ON, Holiday Beach); Redhead 1167 (ON, Holiday Beach); Ring-necked Duck 423 (BC, Chilliwack); Tufted Duck 64 (NL, St. Johns); Greater Scaup 19,021 (ON, Point Pelee); Lesser Scaup 616 (BC, Duncan); King Eider 1 (ON, Hamilton); Common Eider 778 (QC, Perce); Harlequin Duck 464 (BC, Deep Bay); Surf Scoter 2392 (BC, Comox); White-winged Scoter 1604 (ON, Hamilton); Black Scoter 615 (PE, East Point); Long-tailed Duck 20,990 (ON, Peach Tree); Bufflehead 1796 (BC, Victoria); Common Goldeneye 3317 (ON, Hamilton); Barrow’s Goldeneye 1700 (BC, Vancouver); Hooded Merganser 313 (BC, Victoria); Common Merganser 11,200 (ON, Lakeshore); Red-breasted Merganser 4140 (ON, Point Pelee); Ruddy Duck 291 (ON, Hamilton).
California Quail 2374 (BC, Penticton); Chukar 67 (BC, Kamloops); Gray Partridge 321 (SK, Morse); Ring-necked Pheasant 130 (AB, Medicine Hat); Ruffed Grouse 68 (ON, Algonquin P.P.); Spruce Grouse 6 (MB, Riding Mountain N.P.); Willow Ptarmigan 7 (NT, Yellowknife); Rock Ptarmigan 1 (NL, Bonne Bay); Dusky Grouse 1 (BC, Lillooet); Sooty Grouse 1 (BC, Vancouver); Sharp-tailed Grouse 201 (MB, Gimli); Wild Turkey 691 (ON, Vankleek Hill); Pied-billed Grebe 69 (BC, Victoria); Horned Grebe 481 (BC, Victoria); Red-necked Grebe 255 (BC, Victoria); Eared Grebe 4 (BC, White Rock); Western Grebe 821 (BC, Skidegate Inlet); Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 5544 (MB, Winnipeg); Band-tailed Pigeon 5 (BC, Parksville-Qualicum Beach); Eurasian Collared-Dove 380 (BC, Vancouver); Mourning Dove 1,524 (ON, Peach Tree); Anna’s Hummingbird 1256 (BC, Victoria); Rufous Hummingbird 1 (BC, Cortes Island); Virginia Rail 9 (BC, Nanaimo); Sora 1 (ON, West Elgin); Common Gallinule 1 (ON, Wallaceburg); American Coot 1007 (BC, Victoria); Sandhill Crane 3577 (ON, Long Point); Black Oystercatcher 197 (BC, Skidegate Inlet); Black-bellied Plover 220 (BC, Comox); Semipalmated Plover 1 (NL, Cape Race); Killdeer 69 (BC, Victoria); Long-billed Curlew 1 (BC, White Rock); Marbled Godwit 3 (BC, White Rock); Ruddy Turnstone 4 (NS, Chezzetcook); Black Turnstone 420 (BC, Deep Bay); Red Knot 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth, The Sydneys); Surfbird 540 (BC, Pender Islands); Sanderling 761 (BC, Greater Masset); Dunlin 889 (BC, Greater Masset); Rock Sandpiper 17 (BC, Skidegate Inlet); Purple Sandpiper 161 (NL, Ferryland); White-rumped Sandpiper 1 (NL, Cape Race); Semipalmated Sandpiper 1 (NL, Cape Race); Western Sandpiper 2 (BC, White Rock); Long-billed Dowitcher 54 (BC, Vancouver); American Woodcock 1 (ON, Point Pelee); Common Snipe 1 (BC, Skidegate Inlet); Wilson’s Snipe 48 (BC, Chilliwack); Spotted Sandpiper 3 (BC, Campbell River); Lesser Yellowlegs 1 (NS, Yarmouth); Willet 1 (NS, Broad Cove); Greater Yellowlegs 50 (BC, Deep Bay).
Pomarine Jaeger 4 (NS, Brier Island); Dovekie 6990 (NL, Cape Race); Common Murre 1716 (BC, Hecate Strait); Thick-billed Murre 20 (NL, Ferryland); Razorbill 10 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Black Guillemot 165 (NB, Cape Race); Pigeon Guillemot 583 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring); Marbled Murrelet 178 (BC, Victoria); Ancient Murrelet 560 (BC, Little River-Powell River Ferry); Rhinoceros Auklet 49 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring); Black-legged Kittiwake 205 (NB, Brier Island); Bonaparte’s Gull 4393 (ON, Niagara Falls); Black-headed Gull 6 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Little Gull 9 (ON, Niagara Falls); Laughing Gull 1 (NS, St. Peters); Mew Gull 1300 (BC, Powell River); Ring-billed Gull 5087 (ON, Kettle Point); Western Gull 12 (BC, Galiano-North Saltspring); California Gull 38 (BC, Galiano-North Saltspring); Herring Gull 3810 (ON, La Foret Larose); Iceland Gull 1200 (NS, Sable Island); Iceland Gull (Thayer’s) 711 (BC, Powell River); Iceland Gull (kumlieni) 1588 (NL, St. Johns); Lesser Black-backed Gull 9 (NL, St. Johns); Slaty-backed Gull 1 (ON, London); Glaucous-winged Gull 8899 (BC, White Rock); Glaucous Gull 65 (QC, Longueuil); Great Black-backed Gull 3200 (NS, Sable Island); Common Tern 1 (PE, Hillsborough); Red-throated Loon 154 (ON, White Rock); Pacific Loon 1349 (BC, Nanoose Bay); Common Loon 270 (BC, Comox); Yellow-billed Loon 7 (BC, Hecate Strait); Northern Fulmar 9 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Short-tailed Shearwater 9 (BC, Rose Spit); Northern Gannet 35 (NS, Brier Island; PE, East Point); Brandt’s Cormorant 2047 (BC, Victoria); Double-crested Cormorant 2361 (BC, Vancouver); Great Cormorant 74 (NS, The Sydneys); Pelagic Cormorant 809 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring); American Bittern 1 (BC, Abbotsford-Mission);Great Blue Heron 174 (BC, Vancouver); Great Egret 1 (BC, Abbotsford-Mission; ON, Guelph, Holiday Beach); Green Heron 1 (BC, Vancouver); Black-crowned Night-Heron 5 (ON, Toronto).
Black Vulture 16 (ON, Niagara Falls); Turkey Vulture 157 (ON, Dunnville); Osprey 1 (NB, Cape Tormentine); Golden Eagle 10 (BC, Oliver-Osoyoos); Northern Harrier 33 (BC, Pitt Meadows); Sharp-shinned Hawk 20 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Cooper’s Hawk 57 (BC, Victoria); Northern Goshawk 9 (AB, Calgary); Bald Eagle 715 (BC, Chilliwack); Red-shouldered Hawk 4 (ON, Point Pelee); Broad-winged Hawk 1 (NS, Bedford-Sackville, Halifax-Dartmouth); Red-tailed Hawk 186 (BC, Vernon); Red-tailed Hawk (Harlan’s) 1 (BC, Merritt); Rough-legged Hawk 42 (ON, Linwood); Barn Owl 6 (BC, White Rock); Western Screech-Owl 3 (BC, Kelowna, Oliver-Osoyoos); Eastern Screech-Owl 37 (ON, West Elgin); Great Horned Owl 27 (BC, Victoria); Snowy Owl 37 (ON, Linwood); Northern Hawk Owl 5 (MB, Pinawa-Lac du Bonnet); Northern Pygmy-Owl 5 (BC, Peachland, Vaseux Lake); Barred Owl 26 (ON, Petroglyphs); Great Gray Owl 6 (AB, Cochrane Wildlife Reserve); Long-eared Owl 5 (ON, Blenheim); Short-eared Owl 9 (BC, Kuskanook); Boreal Owl 1 (AB, Devon-Calmar); Northern Saw-whet Owl 7 (NS, Bedford-Sackville).
Belted Kingfisher 38 (BC, Victoria); Red-headed Woodpecker 4 (ON, Kettle Point, Wye Marsh); Red-bellied Woodpecker 115 (ON, Hamilton); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1 (ON, Belleville, Huntsville, Kettle Point, London, Orono, Rice Lake Plains, Sandbanks, Westport, Woodstock); Red-breasted Sapsucker 24 (BC, Victoria); American Three-toed Woodpecker 25 (AB, Banff-Canmore); Black-backed Woodpecker 12 (AB, Edmonton); Downy Woodpecker 453 (AB, Edmonton); Hairy Woodpecker 141 (MB, Winnipeg); Northern Flicker 528 (BC, Victoria); Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) 481 (BC, Penticton); Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 72 (NL, St. Johns); Pileated Woodpecker 67 (AB, Edmonton); American Kestrel 38 (ON, Peach Tree); Merlin 21 (BC, Victoria); Gyrfalcon 3 (BC, Abbotsford-Mission); Peregrine Falcon 15 (BC, Victoria); Prairie Falcon 5 (AB, Milk River).
Eastern Phoebe 4 (ON, Point Pelee); Say’s Phoebe 1 (BC, Kelowna); Northern Shrike 10 (BC, Kamloops); Hutton’s Vireo 14 (BC, Victoria); Blue-headed Vireo 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth, Yarmouth); Canada Jay 78 (ON, Timmins); Steller’s Jay 346 (BC, Victoria); Blue Jay 652 (ON, Petroglyphs); Clark’s Nutcracker 49 (AB, Banff-Canmore); Black-billed Magpie 2346 (AB, Calgary); American Crow 126,000 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A.); Northwestern Crow 22,492 (BC, Vancouver); Common Raven 2618 (NT, Yellowknife); Horned Lark 546 (SK, Ponteix); Tree Swallow 2 (NS, Caledonia, Halifax-Dartmouth); Black-capped Chickadee 3276 (AB, Edmonton); Mountain Chickadee 319 (BC, Banff-Canmore); Chestnut-backed Chickadee 3143 (BC, Victoria); Boreal Chickadee 111 (AB, Cochrane Wildlife Reserve); Tufted Titmouse 29 (ON, Wallaceburg; QC, Lennoxville); Bushtit 1226 (BC, Victoria); Red-breasted Nuthatch 611 (ON, Algonquin P.P.); White-breasted Nuthatch 708 (MB, Winnipeg); Pygmy Nuthatch 236 (BC, Kelowna); Brown Creeper 232 (BC, Victoria).
Canyon Wren 13 (BC, Oliver-Osoyoos); House Wren 1 (BC, Deep Bay; ON, Cedar Creek, London, Sutton, Woodstock); Pacific Wren 378 (BC, Victoria); Winter Wren 25 (ON, Hamilton); Sedge Wren 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Marsh Wren 32 (BC, Victoria); Carolina Wren 122 (ON, Hamilton); Bewick’s Wren 355 (BC, Victoria); American Dipper 45 (BC, Yalakom Valley); Golden-crowned Kinglet 1387 (BC, Victoria); Ruby-crowned Kinglet 247 (BC, Victoria); Eastern Bluebird 76 (ON, St. Catharines); Western Bluebird 268 (BC, Penticton); Mountain Bluebird 2 (BC, Penticton); Townsend’s Solitaire 27 (BC, Hat Creek); Swainson’s Thrush 1 (ON, Toronto); Hermit Thrush 33 (BC, Victoria); Fieldfare 1 (BC, Rose Spit); American Robin 2436 (BC, Victoria); Varied Thrush 161 (BC, Vancouver); Gray Catbird 4 (NS, Yarmouth; ON, Hamilton); Brown Thrasher 1 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau, Sudbury, Toronto); Northern Mockingbird 24 (ON, Peach Tree); European Starling 18,078 (ON, Niagara Falls); Bohemian Waxwing 2601 (AB, Calgary); Cedar Waxwing 592 (ON, Halton Hills); House Sparrow 5062 (AB, Calgary); Red-throated Pipit 1 (BC, Victoria); American Pipit 146 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring); Evening Grosbeak 316 (SK, Love); Pine Grosbeak 324 (NL, Happy Valley-Goose Bay); Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch 77 (AB, Crowsnest); House Finch 1402 (BC, Penticton); Purple Finch 647 (ON, Algonquin P.P.); Cassin’s Finch 13 (BC, Kaslo); Common Redpoll 411 (BC, Smithers); Hoary Redpoll 24 (NT, Yellowknife); Red Crossbill 194 (ON, Algonquin P.P.); White-winged Crossbill 1240 (YT, Haines Junction); Pine Siskin 1962 (BC, Victoria); American Goldfinch 942 (ON, Algonquin P.P.).
Lapland Longspur 30 (MB, Oak Hammock Marsh); Snow Bunting 4499 (ON, La Foret Larose); Spotted Towhee 1366 (BC, Victoria); Eastern Towhee 4 (ON, Long Point, St. Thomas); American Tree Sparrow 335 (ON, Long Point); Chipping Sparrow 12 (NS, Kingston); Field Sparrow 8 (ON, Cedar Creek); Lark Sparrow 1 (NS, Strait of Canso; QC, Montreal); Lark Bunting 1 (NS, Broad Cove); Savannah Sparrow 22 (BC, Abbotsford-Mission); Savannah Sparrow (Ipswich) 16 (NS, Sable Island); Fox Sparrow 603 (BC, Victoria); Song Sparrow 1735 (BC, Vancouver); Lincoln’s Sparrow 51 (BC, Victoria); Swamp Sparrow 69 (ON, Long Point); White-throated Sparrow 116 (NS, Yarmouth); Harris’s Sparrow 3 (BC, Creston Valley); White-crowned Sparrow 661 (BC, Abbotsford-Mission); Golden-crowned Sparrow 1505 (BC, Victoria); Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 1006 (NL, St. Johns); Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) 4981 (BC, Victoria).
Yellow-breasted Chat 6 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Yellow-headed Blackbird 2 (BC, Vernon); Eastern Meadowlark 2 (ON, Point Pelee); Western Meadowlark 40 (BC, Abbotsford-Mission); Baltimore Oriole 3 (NL, St. Johns); Red-winged Blackbird 1757 (BC, Vernon); Brown-headed Cowbird 2416 (ON, Fisherville); Rusty Blackbird 15 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A.); Brewer’s Blackbird 1227 (BC, Parksville-Qualicum Beach); Common Grackle 52 (NS, Yarmouth); Orange-crowned Warbler 6 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Common Yellowthroat 2 (ON, Long Point, Wallaceburg); Black-throated Blue Warbler 1 (NL, St. Johns); Palm Warbler 1 (BC, Victoria; NB, Memramcook-Hillsborough; NS, Sable Island); Pine Warbler 6 (NB, Memramcook-Hillsborough); Yellow-rumped Warbler 37 (BC, Oliver-Osoyoos ); Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 26 (NS, Cape Sable Island); Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) 9 (BC, Kelowna); Yellow-throated Warbler 1 (NS, Antigonish, Sheet Harbour, Truro); Townsend’s Warbler 8 (BC, Victoria); Hermit Warbler 1 (NL, St. Johns); Wilson’s Warbler 1 (NL, St. Johns; ON, London); Scarlet Tanager 1 (QC, Montreal); Northern Cardinal 592 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau); Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1 (ON, London, Minden); Dickcissel 1 (NB, Sackville; NL, Corner Brook).
All-time Canadian High Counts (2020 Update)
This is a summary of the highest counts reported for individual species and forms in Canada since the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) began in 1900. A total of 438 species have been reported on Count Days during that period, which is an increase of 18 species since Richard Cannings summarized Canadian CBCs ten years ago. British Columbia CBCs recorded the most species high counts (187), followed by Ontario (115), Nova Scotia (61), Alberta, (18), and Newfoundland and Labrador (17).
There are seven species and one form only found during Count Week (cw): Tundra Bean-Goose, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Laysan Albatross, Manx Shearwater, Magnificent Frigatebird, Red-tailed (Krider’s) Hawk, and Cassin’s Vireo. The list of hypothetical species reported during CBCs that are under review by Bird Records Committee include: European Golden-Plover, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe, Oak/Juniper Titmouse.
The format for listing is as follows: species name followed by number of individuals, (within parenthesis, province or territory followed by CBC name(s) and count year where high count was first reported. Unestablished exotics and hybrids are excluded from this list.
Emperor Goose 2 (BC, Skidegate Inlet 89), Snow Goose 127,022 (QC, Baie-Missisquoi 117), Ross’s Goose 4 (ON, Blenheim 114), Greater White-fronted Goose 338 (BC, Chilliwack 80), Tundra Bean-Goose cw (NS, Yarmouth 114), Pink-footed Goose 14 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 100), Brant 4800 (BC, Ladner 115), Barnacle Goose 1 (QC, Longueuil 110), Cackling Goose 5305 (BC, Chilliwack 119), Canada Goose 47,551 (AB, Lethbridge 120), Mute Swan 1201 (ON, Holiday Beach 115), Trumpeter Swan 3443 (BC, Kelowna 96), Tundra Swan 10,870 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A. 116), Wood Duck 964 (BC, Chilliwack 114), Blue-winged Teal 30 (BC, Fisherville 104), Cinnamon Teal 8 (BC, Ladner 83), Northern Shoveler 988 (BC, Duncan 78), Gadwall 6879 (ON, Blenheim 113), Eurasian Wigeon 113 (BC, Ladner 107), American Wigeon 58,860 (BC, Ladner 92), Mallard 46,851 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A. 119), American Black Duck 13,651 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 103), Northern Pintail 55,070 (BC, Ladner 92), Green-winged Teal (Eurasian) 12 (NL, St. John, 111), Green-winged Teal (American) 23,472 (BC, Ladner 92), Canvasback 25,800 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A. 107), Redhead 26,081 (ON, Long Point 115), Ring-necked Duck 850 (BC, Duncan 111), Tufted Duck 78 (NL, St. Johns 114), Greater Scaup 60,200 (ON, Point Pelee 113), Lesser Scaup 15,000 (ON, Point Pelee 91), King Eider 22 (ON, Hamilton 64), Common Eider 7528 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 97), Harlequin Duck 886 (BC, Deep Bay 83), Surf Scoter 12,216 (BC, Lower Howe Sound 112), White-winged Scoter 10,115 (ON, Prince Edward Point 95), Black Scoter 1450 (PE, East Point 112), Long-tailed Duck 148,326 (ON, Prince Edward Point 102), Bufflehead 3487 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring 116), Common Goldeneye 11,612 (BC, Tlell 105), Barrow’s Goldeneye 3747 (BC, Lower Howe Sound 106), Smew 1 (BC, White Rock 90), Hooded Merganser 701 (BC, Victoria 107), Common Merganser 39,640 (ON, Point Pelee 90), Red-breasted Merganser 35, 803 (ON, Oshawa 112), Ruddy Duck 11,280 (BC, White Rock 79).
Mountain Quail 9 (BC, Victoria 64),California Quail 4566 (BC, Penticton 105), Chukar 281 (BC, Oliver-Osoyoos 113), Gray Partridge 728 (SK, Regina 104), Ring-necked Pheasant 4000 (QC, St-Anne-du-Lac 113), Ruffed Grouse 149 (ON, Algonquin P.P. 107), Greater Sage-Grouse 106 (SK, Govenlock 80), Spruce Grouse 37 (MB, Riding Mountain N.P. 77), Willow Ptarmigan 476 (NT, Yellowknife 98), Rock Ptarmigan 46 (MB, Churchill 98), White-tailed Ptarmigan 48 (AB, Bow Summit 90), Dusky Grouse 17 (BC, Penticton 107, Sooty Grouse 4 (BC, Squamish 96), Sharp-tailed Grouse 390 (MB, Lyleton 107), Wild Turkey 849 (ON, Pakenham-Arnprior 111), Pied-billed Grebe 101 (BC, Ladner 79), Horned Grebe 1100 (BC, Victoria 67), Red-necked Grebe 708 (BC, Tlell 105), Eared Grebe 461 (BC, Pender Islands 81), Western Grebe 15,174 (BC, Deep Bay 84), Clark’s Grebe 2 (BC, Sooke 90), Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 18,020 (BC, Vancouver 102), Band-tailed Pigeon 449 (BC, Pender Islands 79), Eurasian Collared-Dove 608 (BC, Vernon 118), White-winged Dove 2 (NS, Cape Sable Island 110), Mourning Dove 2443 (ON, Cedar Creek 106), Anna’s Hummingbird 1256 (BC, Victoria 120), Costa’s Hummingbird 1 (BC, Vancouver 111), Rufous Hummingbird 4 (BC, Pender Islands 114), Xantus’s Hummingbird 1 (BC, Sunshine Coast 98), Clapper Rail 1 (NS, Broad Cove 74), King Rail 1 (ON, Long Point 77), Virginia Rail 39 (BC, Vancouver 85), Sora 3 (BC, Vaseux Lake 100), Purple Gallinule 1 (NS, Port L’Hebert 94), Common Gallinule 1 (ON, Hamilton 48), American Coot 8202 (ON, Blenheim 102), Sandhill Crane 3577 (ON, Long Point 120).
Black-necked Stilt 1 (ON, Wallaceburg 102), American Avocet 4 (BC, White Rock 98), Black Oystercatcher 391 (BC, Skidegate Inlet 113), Northern Lapwing 1 (NL, St. John’s 84), Black-bellied Plover 6855 (BC, Ladner 105), American Golden-Plover 2 (BC, Skidegate Inlet 98), Pacific Golden-Plover 3 (BC, Skidegate Inlet 101), Semipalmated Plover 6 (BC, Deep Bay 103), Killdeer 427 (BC, Ladner 102), Whimbrel 6 (BC, Victoria 63), Whimbrel (Eurasian) 1 (NS, Broad Cove 75), Long-billed Curlew 1 (BC, Ladner 80), Black-tailed Godwit 1 (PE, Prince Edward Island N.P. 99), Marbled Godwit 6 (BC, White Rock 108), Ruddy Turnstone 22 (NS, Louisbourg 68), Black Turnstone 3560 (BC, Comox 83), Red Knot 48 (NS, Cape Sable Island 100), Surfbird 644 (BC, Pender Islands 103), Ruff 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 103), Sanderling 1678 (BC, Rose Spit 100), Dunlin 84,773 (BC, Ladner 103), Rock Sandpiper 193 (BC, Greater Masset 88), Purple Sandpiper 430 (NB, Grand Manan Island 89), Baird’s Sandpiper 1 (ON, Blenheim 72), Least Sandpiper 42 (BC, Ladner 102), White-rumped Sandpiper 9 (NL, Cape Race 115), Pectoral Sandpiper 3 (BC, Nanaimo 79), Semipalmated Sandpiper 15 (NS, Cape Sable Island 103), Western Sandpiper 301 (BC, Ladner 108), Short-billed Dowitcher 68 (BC, Vancouver 70), Long-billed Dowitcher 683 (BC, Ladner 76), American Woodcock 5 (ON, Prince Edward Point 105, Wilson’s Snipe 151 (BC, Vancouver 82), Spotted Sandpiper 7 (BC, Nanaimo 113), Solitary Sandpiper cw (BC, Cortes Island 109), Wandering Tattler 1 (BC, Vancouver 64). Lesser Yellowlegs 7 (BC, Vancouver 70), Willet 3 (BC, Ladner 102), Spotted Redshank cw (NS, Halifax [west] 60), Greater Yellowlegs 91 (BC, White Rock 106), Red-necked Phalarope 1 (NS, Louisbourg and Cape Breton 73), Red Phalarope 560 (BC, Sooke 103).
Great Skua 1 (NS, Brier Island 93), Pomarine Jaeger 4 (NS, Brier Island 120), Parasitic Jaeger 1 (BC, White Rock 78), Dovekie 73,668 (NL, L’Anse-aux-Meadows 85), Common Murre 10,940 (BC, Campbell River 95), Thick-billed Murre 51,050 (NL, L’Anse-aux-Meadows 85), Razorbill 15,000 (NB, Grand Manan Island 99), Black Guillemot 1009 (QC, Forillon N.P. 104), Pigeon Guillemot 583 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring 120), Marbled Murrelet 2125 (BC, Ladner 76), Kittlitz’s Murrelet 1 (BC, Victoria 86), Ancient Murrelet 21,420 (BC, Sunshine Coast 112), Cassin’s Auklet 1398 (BC, Rose Spit 96), Rhinoceros Auklet 113 (BC, Victoria 100), Atlantic Puffin 200 (NS, Brier Island 91), Tufted Puffin 2 (BC, Victoria 66), Black-legged Kittiwake 48,000 (NS, Brier Island 79), Ivory Gull 17 (NL, L’Anse-aux-Meadows 86), Sabine’s Gull 1 (BC, Victoria 64), Bonaparte’s Gull 26,187 (ON, Niagara Falls 92), Black-headed Gull 365 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 106), Little Gull 117 (ON, Long Point 92), Laughing Gull 2 (NS, Halifax [east] 69), Franklin’s Gull 1 (AB, Lethbridge 117), Black-tailed Gull 1 (NL, St. Johns 111), Heermann’s Gull 4 (BC, Pender Islands 83), Mew Gull 16,375 (BC, Victoria 75), Ring-billed Gull 33,522 (ON, West Elgin 112), Western Gull 121 (BC, Tofino 102), California Gull 1007 (BC, Parksville-Qualicum Beach 103), Herring Gull 30,610 (NS, Wolfville 99), Yellow-legged Gull 2 (NL, St. John’s 111), Iceland Gull 6004 (QC, Tadoussac 93), Iceland (Thayer’s) Gull 3110 (BC, Victoria 104), Iceland (kumlieni) Gull 3611 (NL, St. John’s 110), Lesser Black-backed Gull 74 (ON, Barrie 106), Slaty-backed Gull 1 (BC, Ladner 94), Glaucous-winged Gull 55,803 (BC, Ladner 106), Glaucous Gull 1269 (NL, St. Anthony 82), Great Black-backed Gull 14,275 (NL, Corner Brook 98), Caspian Tern 1 (ON, Hamilton 81), Black Tern 1 (ON, Wiarton 92), Common Tern 5 (BC, Surrey Municipality 62), Forster’s Tern 2 (ON, Blenheim 102).
Red-throated Loon 1151 (BC, Tlell 105), Arctic Loon 1 (BC, Duncan 108), Pacific Loon 4437 (BC, Campbell River 105), Common Loon 618 (BC, Comox 105), Yellow-billed Loon 43 (BC, Hecate Strait 110), Laysan Albatross cw (BC, Juan de Fuca 112), Black-footed Albatross 2 (BC, Greater Masset 114), Northern Fulmar 1619 (NL, Cape St. Mary’s 100), Black-capped Petrel 1 (ON, Wye Marsh 102), Cory’s Shearwater 1 (NB, Cape Tormentine 99), Buller’s Shearwater 1 (BC, Hecate Strait 106), Short-tailed Shearwater 81 (BC, Langara Island 100), Sooty Shearwater 1238 (BC, Rose Spit 99), Great Shearwater 15 (NS, Brier Island 116), Pink-footed Shearwater 1 (NS, Glace Bay 118), Manx Shearwater cw (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 109), Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 2 (BC, Rose Spit 119), Leach’s Storm-Petrel 6 (NL, Terra Nova N.P. 75), Magnificent Frigatebird cw (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 108), Northern Gannet 596 (NS, Cape Sable Island 100), Brandt’s Cormorant 4280 (BC, Sooke 86), Double-crested Cormorant 2361 (BC, Vancouver 120), Great Cormorant 433 (NS, Halifax [west] 85), Red-faced Cormorant 1 (BC, Rose Spit 114), Pelagic Cormorant 3233 (BC, Nanaimo 89), American White Pelican 10 (SK, Gardiner Dam 111), Brown Pelican 19 (BC, Victoria 113), American Bittern 26 (BC, Ladner 106), Great Blue Heron 317 (BC, Ladner 115), Great Egret 2 (NS, Cape Sable Island 109), Snowy Egret 1 (NS, Halifax [east] 80), Little Blue Heron 1 (NS, Yarmouth 100), Cattle Egret 3 (BC, Ladner 80), Green Heron 7 (BC, Pitt Meadows 111), Black-crowned Night-Heron 20 (ON, Toronto 107).
Black Vulture 16 (ON, Niagara Falls 120), Turkey Vulture 190 (ON, Dunnville 119), Osprey 3 (BC, Deep Bay 79), Golden Eagle 14 (SK, Fort Walsh Cypress Hills 88), Northern Harrier 162 (ON, Fisherville 91), Sharp-shinned Hawk 41 (SK, Saskatoon 62), Cooper’s Hawk 74 (BC, Nanaimo 117), Northern Goshawk 16 (SK, E.B. Campbell Dam 81), Bald Eagle 2805 (BC, Squamish 94), Red-shouldered Hawk 18 (QC, Longueuil 116), Broad-winged Hawk 2 (ON, Peel-Halton Counties 66), Swainson’s Hawk 1 (BC, Pitt Meadows 78), Red-tailed Hawk 345 (ON, Fisherville 94), Red-tailed (Harlan’s) Hawk 28 (BC, Vernon 117), Red-tailed (Krider’s) Hawk cw (ON, Point Pelee 102), Rough-legged Hawk 195 (ON, Kingston 75), Ferruginous Hawk 6 (AB, Edmonton 7), Barn Owl 49 (BC, Vancouver 78), Western Screech-Owl 23 (BC, Victoria 92), Eastern Screech-Owl 141 (ON, Fisherville 100), Great Horned Owl 80 (ON, Cambridge 87), Snowy Owl 107 (BC, Ladner 74), Northern Hawk Owl 40 (AB, Opal 105), Northern Pygmy-Owl 17 (BC, Vernon 78), Burrowing Owl 2 (BC, Kamloops 115), Barred Owl 26 (ON, Petroglyphs 120), Great Gray Owl 24 (MB, Pinawa-Lac du Bonnet 101), Long-eared Owl 65 (ON, Hamilton 61), Short-eared Owl 106 (ON, Fisherville 96), Boreal Owl 8 (AB, Cochrane Wildlife Reserve 103), Northern Saw-whet Owl 52 (BC, Vaseux Lake 106).
Belted Kingfisher 71 (BC, Victoria 90), Lewis’s Woodpecker 25 (BC, Penticton 75), Red-headed Woodpecker 114 (ON, Blenheim 84), Acorn Woodpecker 1 (BC, Abbotsford-Mission 111), Red-bellied Woodpecker 166 (ON, London 118), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4 (ON, London 81, Niagara Falls 72), Red-naped Sapsucker 2 (BC, Creston 91), Red-breasted Sapsucker 124 (BC, Sunshine Coast 117), American Three-toed Woodpecker 29 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau 77), Black-backed Woodpecker 35 (ON, Algonquin P.P. 107), Downy Woodpecker 568 (AB, Edmonton 116), Hairy Woodpecker 379 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau 115), White-headed Woodpecker 1 (BC, Vaseux Lake 76), Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) 689 (BC, Victoria 118), Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 102 (NL, St. Johns 108), Pileated Woodpecker 85 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau 115), American Kestrel 154 (ON, Fisherville 92), Merlin 43 (AB, Calgary 116), Gyrfalcon 6 (NL, St. Anthony 83), Peregrine Falcon 29 (BC, Ladner 110), Prairie Falcon 8 (AB, Nanton 110).
Ash-throated Flycatcher 1 (BC, Ladner 101), Western Kingbird 1 (BC, Victoria 64), Eastern Kingbird (NS, Yarmouth 74), Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1 (ON, Cedar Creek, Gray Flycatcher 1 (ON, Fisherville 104), Dusky Flycatcher 1 (NS, Wolfville 97), Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher 1 NB, Grand Manan Island 116), Black Phoebe 1 (BC, Chilliwack 114), Eastern Phoebe 5 (ON, Toronto 119), Say’s Phoebe 2 (BC, Penticton 77), Vermilion Flycatcher 1 (ON, Wallaceburg 116), Loggerhead Shrike 2 (ON, St. Thomas 61), Northern Shrike 51 (ON, Oshawa 96), White-eyed Vireo 1 (ON, Pickering 85), Hutton’s Vireo 18 (BC, Pender Islands 106), Cassin’s Vireo cw (BC, Nanaimo 100), Blue-headed Vireo 2 (ON, Peel-Halton Counties 116), Plumbeous Vireo 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 100), Canada Jay 185 (AB, Cochrane Wildlife Reserve 96), Steller’s Jay 659 (BC, Victoria 93), Blue Jay 1598 (AB, Edmonton 89), California Scrub-Jay 2 (BC, White Rock 117), Clark’s Nutcracker 277 (AB, Banff-Canmore 79), Black-billed Magpie 3374 (AB, Edmonton 102), Eurasian. Jackdaw 1 (NS, Halifax [west] 85), American Crow 159,860 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A. 100), Northwestern Crow 35,365 (BC, Vancouver 110), Fish Crow 1 (ON, Hamilton 119), Common Raven 3007 (YT, Whitehorse 117).
Eurasian Skylark 960 (BC, Victoria 66), Horned Lark 6012 (ON, Blenheim 86), Tree Swallow 7 (NS, Halifax [east] 70), Violet-green Swallow 4 (BC, Comox 20), Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2 (ON, London 80), Cliff Swallow 2 (BC, Vancouver 92), Barn Swallow 5 (ON, Sutton 104), Black-capped Chickadee 6239 (AB, Edmonton 94), Mountain Chickadee 519 (BC, Penticton 87), Chestnut-backed Chickadee 3143 (BC, Victoria 120), Boreal Chickadee 371 (NL, Terra Nova N.P. 85), Tufted Titmouse 70 (ON, Wallaceburg 104), Bushtit 2522 (BC, Victoria 100), Red-breasted Nuthatch 1384 (ON, Algonquin P.P. 79), White-breasted Nuthatch 771 (MB, Winnipeg 118), Pygmy Nuthatch 515 (BC, Penticton 90), Brown Creeper 277 (ON, Point Pelee 78), Rock Wren 6 (BC, Vaseux Lake 101), Canyon Wren 25 (BC, Oliver-Osoyoos 96), Carolina Wren 122 (ON, Hamilton 120), Bewick’s Wren 365 (BC, Victoria 112), House Wren 4 (BC, Nanaimo 80, ON, Thousand Islands 95), Pacific Wren 587 (BC, Victoria 114), Winter Wren 35 (ON, Toronto 115), Sedge Wren 1 (NS, Broad Cove 77), Marsh Wren 136 (BC, Ladner 104), American Dipper 149 (BC, Lillooet 103), Golden-crowned Kinglet 4000 (BC, Victoria 70), Ruby-crowned Kinglet 402 (BC, Victoria, 105), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1 (ON, Point Pelee 83).
Red-flanked Bluetail 1 (BC, Comox 117), Northern Wheatear 1 (NL, St. Anthony 75), Eastern Bluebird 149 (ON, Cedar Creek 99), Western Bluebird 268 (BC, Penticton 120), Mountain Bluebird 12 (BC, Penticton 81), Townsend’s Solitaire 167 (BC, Vernon 116), Veery 1 (ON, Toronto 93), Gray-cheeked Thrush 1 (ON, Kingston 78), Swainson’s Thrush 1 (BC, Victoria 62), Hermit Thrush 76 (BC, Victoria 117), Wood Thrush 1 (MB, Winnipeg 85), Dusky Thrush 1 (BC, White Rock 93), Fieldfare 1 (NL, St. John’s 92), Redwing 1 (NL, Ferryland 99), Mistle Thrush 1 (NB, Mirimachi 118), American Robin 14,327 (BC, Victoria 96), Varied Thrush 1212 (BC, Vancouver 84), Gray Catbird 31 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 118), Northern Mockingbird 159 (ON, Niagara Falls 90), Sage Thrasher 1 (ON, Blenheim 109), Brown Thrasher 5 (ON, Hamilton 71), Curve-billed Thrasher 1 (SK, Dalmeny-Langham 107), European Starling 254,068 (BC, Vancouver 65), Crested Myna 1632 (BC, Vancouver 61), Bohemian Waxwing 35,298 (AB, Edmonton 106), Cedar Waxwing 6190 (ON, Sandbanks 117). Siberian Accentor 1 (BC, White Rock 116), House Sparrow 23,761 (MB, Winnipeg 90), Eurasian Tree Sparrow 2 (MB, Winnipeg 115), Citrine Wagtail 1 (BC, Comox, 113), Red-throated Pipit 1 (BC, Ladner 91), American Pipit 1327 (ON, Point Pelee 117), Common Chaffinch 1 (NS, Halifax [west] 89), Brambling 3 (BC, Port Clements 106), Evening Grosbeak 2621 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau 73), Pine Grosbeak 1847 (NL, St. Anthony’s 75), Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch 600 (BC, Penticton 87), Purple Finch 1845 (NS, Broad Cove 92), Cassin’s Finch 312 (BC, Vaseux Lake 89), House Finch 3020 (ON, St. Thomas 89), Red Crossbill 3527 (ON, Algonquin P.P. 95), White-winged Crossbill 8728 (ON, Algonquin P.P. 85), Common Redpoll 14,159 (NB, Cape Tormentine 92), Hoary Redpoll 367 (NT, Nahanni Butte 115), Pine Siskin 11,128 (BC, Sooke 113), Lesser Goldfinch 1 (BC, Merritt 117), American Goldfinch 2696 (NS, Wolfville 92).
Lapland Longspur 550 (ON, Kingston 97), Smith’s Longspur 2 (AB, Nanton 103), Thick-billed Longspur 1 (SK, Govenlock 83), Snow Bunting 33,935 (SK, Raymore 83), McKay’s Bunting 2 (BC, Vancouver 105), Little Bunting 1 (BC, Greater Masset 109), Rustic Bunting 1 (SK, Creighton 110), Green-tailed Towhee 1 (BC, Comox 85), Spotted Towhee 1501 (BC, Victoria 117), Eastern Towhee 21 (ON, St. Thomas 56), American Tree Sparrow 4500 (ON, Long Point 68), Chipping Sparrow 83 (ON, Cedar Creek 106), Clay-colored Sparrow 2 (BC, Ladner 83), Field Sparrow 140 (ON, St. Thomas 69), Vesper Sparrow 12 (ON, St. Thomas 60), Lark Sparrow 1 (NS, Halifax [east] and ON, Moscow 86), Lark Bunting 1 (NS, Halifax [east] 60), Savannah Sparrow 143 (BC, Ladner 115), Savannah (Ipswich) Sparrow 10 (NS, Halifax [east] 80), Grasshopper Sparrow 1 (NS, Halifax [east] 66), Baird’s Sparrow 1 (BC, Nanaimo 95), LeConte’s Sparrow 2 (BC, Greater Masset 119), Nelson’s Sparrow 20 (NS, Halifax [east] 88), Seaside Sparrow 2 (NS, Halifax [east] 80), Fox Sparrow 951 (BC, Victoria 114), Song Sparrow 7819 (BC, Ladner 102), Lincoln’s Sparrow 137 (BC, Victoria 112), Swamp Sparrow 559 (ON, Long Point 85), White-throated Sparrow 1044 (NS, Broad Cove 77), Harris’s Sparrow 11 (BC, Vernon 86), White-crowned Sparrow 774 (BC, Ladner 76), Golden-crowned Sparrow 1937 (BC, Victoria 114), Dark-eyed (Gray-headed) Junco 1 (MB, Winnipeg 85), Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco 8823 (BC, Victoria 100), Dark-eyed (Pink-sided) Junco 2 (ON, London 108), Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco 3337 (ON, Woodhouse Township 118), Dark-eyed (White-winged) Junco 1 (ON, Hamilton 65), Yellow-breasted Chat 18 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 113) Bobolink 1 (NS, Halifax [east] 74), Red-winged Blackbird 10,278 (ON, Long Point 110), Eastern Meadowlark 249 (ON, St. Thomas 73), Western Meadowlark 189 (BC, Ladner 110), Yellow-headed Blackbird 5 (MB, Delta Marsh 116), Rusty Blackbird 575 (ON, Blenheim 85), Brewer’s Blackbird 190,827 (BC, Ladner 117), Common Grackle 4400 (ON, Wallaceburg 102), Great-tailed Grackle 1 (ON, Long Point 89), Brown-headed Cowbird 30,000 (ON, Guelph 76), Hooded Oriole 1 (BC, Terrace 98), Bullock’s Oriole 1 (NS, Halifax [west] 70), Baltimore Oriole 28 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 109).
Blue-winged Warbler 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 102), Orange-crowned Warbler 10 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 97), Nashville Warbler 3 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 100), Northern Parula 1 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau 94), Yellow Warbler 2 (BC, Vancouver 77), Magnolia Warbler 1 (NS, Halifax [west] 74), Cape May Warbler 1 (AB, Calgary 88), Black-throated Blue Warbler 2 (ON, Toronto 109), Yellow-rumped (Audubon’s) Warbler 87 (BC, Vancouver 79), Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler 243 (NS, Cape Sable Island 98), Black-throated Gray Warbler 1 (ON, Kettle Point 83), Townsend’s Warbler 17 (BC, Juan de Fuca 111), Hermit Warbler 1 (NS, Broad Cove 95), Yellow-throated Warbler 2 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 102), Pine Warbler 14 (NS, Halifax [east] 84), Palm Warbler 15 (NS, Halifax [east] 88), Bay-breasted Warbler 1 (NS, Cape Sable Island 99), Blackpoll Warbler 1 (NS, Cape Sable Island 98), Black-and-white Warbler 4 (NL, St. John’s 94), Ovenbird 1 (ON, Hamilton 66), Northern Waterthrush 2 (ON, Long Point 74), MacGillivray’s Warbler 1 (BC, Terrace 103, Vancouver 101, and Victoria 68), Common Yellowthroat 15 (ON, Long Point 76), Hooded Warbler 1 (NS, Halifax [west] 77), Wilson’s Warbler 2 (NL, Corner Brook 102), Summer Tanager 3 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 118), Scarlet Tanager 1 (BC, William’s Lake 113), Western Tanager 1 (BC, Victoria 63), Northern Cardinal 882 (ON, London 112), Pyrrhuloxia 1 (ON, West Elgin 105), Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3 (NB, St. Stephen 106), Black-headed Grosbeak 1 (BC, Chilliwack 73), Blue Grosbeak 1 (QC, Quebec 90), Lazuli Bunting 1 (NS, Cape Sable Island 112), Indigo Bunting 3 (NS, Brier Island 118), Painted Bunting 1 (ON, Toronto 79), Dickcissel 4 (NS, St. Peters 70).
Regional Summaries of the 120th Christmas Bird Count, 2019/20
By Yousif Attia
A total of 61 Christmas Bird Counts (CBC) submitted data during the 120 (2019-20) season in Alberta, including one new count at Viking. December 15 was the most popular count day (11), followed by December 14 (10), and December 22 (8). A total of 226,605 individual birds of 116 species were tallied by 1,308 field counters and 705 feeder counters. Edmonton had the most field counters (169) and party effort. Participants on the Horseshoe Canyon CBC put in the most nocturnal effort. Edmonton by far had the most feeder counters (262), followed by Calgary (87).
Calgary was the top count with 64 species on count day, down from 73 species the year previous. Six species or forms only detected during Count Week include: Tundra (Bewick’s) Swan (Lethbridge), Wilson’s Snipe (Banff-Canmore), Red-tailed (Harlan’s) Hawk (Lethbridge), Varied Thrush (Banff-Canmore), Yellow-headed Blackbird (Camrose), and Green-tailed Towhee (Fort McMurray). Not surprisingly, the Green-tailed Towhee was the only detected in the country during the 120. The top 10 most abundant species in Alberta, in order of most to least abundant were: Canada Goose, House Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, Mallard, Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon), Bohemian Waxwing, Black-billed Magpie, Snow Bunting, Common Raven, and House Finch. Black-capped Chickadee was the only species reported on all counts, and both Common Raven and Black-billed Magpie were reported for all circles except one.
Winter came early, and prolonged cold temperatures were felt throughout the province leading up the count period. Most counts reported lower diversity than usual, likely a result of the early winter weather, although temperatures were generally seasonal if not warmer than usual during the period. Grand Prairie recorded the coldest low temperature on count day with -21.5 degrees Celsius, while Waterton Lakes N.P. was the warmest at 6 degrees Celsius. Waterton Lakes N.P. also reported the greatest maximum snow depth (50 cm) and highest maximum wind speed (80 km/hr).
Species and notes
Canada Goose (89,875) was the most abundant waterfowl species reported, followed by Mallard (15,285), Common Goldeneye (1,146), Bufflehead (164), and Common Merganser (97). Lethbridge, again reported the highest count of Canada Goose (47,551) for a circle in Canada, and set a new all-time high count. Cackling Goose was reported for Calgary and Lethbridge, and participants are reminded to try to obtain photos of this species when observed. Thirteen Tundra Swans at Wabumun Lake were notable, as were four Trumpeters at Brule. Sharp-tailed Grouse again seemed scarce, with a high count of 59 coming from Wainwright. Medicine Hat reported the highest count of Ring-necked Pheasant (130) in Canada. The only count day Spruce Grouse reported in the province was at Banff-Canmore. The only grebe species reported was a well-documented Eared Grebe at High River. Loons, cormorants, and herons were not reported this year. American Coot was reported at Calgary and Lethbridge in low numbers.
Six of the seven Killdeer reported on count day were at Calgary, one was at Snake’s Head, and an additional count week bird was at Crowsnest. The only Wilson’s Snipe in the province was at Banff-Canmore. Unlike recent years, no gulls were detected at all during the CBC season in Alberta. Interestingly, Eurasian Collared-Doves continue to show a slight decline compared to recent years.
The most abundant raptor was Bald Eagle (237) followed by Rough-legged Hawk (72), and Northern Goshawk (30). The nine Northern Goshawks at Calgary was a North American high count this year. Merlin (58) was the most abundant falcon, followed by Prairie Falcon (10), and Gyrfalcon (5). Single American Kestrels were at Leduc and Medicine Hat, while the only Peregrine Falcon was at Edmonton.All nine expected owl species were detected including Canadian high counts represented by six Great Gray Owls at Cochrane Wildlife Reserve, and one Boreal Owl at Devon-Calmar. Great Horned Owl was the species most detected (95), followed by Snowy Owl (34), and Great Gray Owl (18).
High counts for North America were recorded for American Three-toed Woodpecker (25) at Banff-Canmore and Black-backed Woodpecker (12) at Edmonton. Edmonton also boasted the highest count for Downy (453) and Pileated (67) woodpeckers in Canada. A total of 10 Belted Kingfishers from three counts suggests a steadily increasing trend for this species during winter.
Banff-Canmore counted the highest total for Clark’s Nutcracker (49) in Canada, while Calgary continues to be the North American stronghold for Black-billed Magpie (2,346). Three out of the four chickadee species found in Canada had high counts from circles in Alberta, Mountain Chickadee (319) at Banff-Canmore and Boreal Chickadee (111) at Cochrane Wildlife Reserve, were Canadian highs, and Black-capped Chickadee (3,276) at Edmonton was a North American high. A surprisingly high count of five Pacific/Winter Wren came from three counts.
Calgary reported the North American High count for House Sparrow (5,062), a species that has declined in other parts of North America recent years. Calgary also reported the highest Canadian total for Bohemian Waxwing (2,601). A Northern Mockingbird at Lethbridge was a noteworthy addition. Even more rare was a Green-tailed Towhee at Fort McMurray during Count Week. Dark-eyed Juncos (528) were the most abundant sparrow, followed by White-throated Sparrow (11), and White-crowned Sparrow (5). Red-winged, Rusty, and Yellow-headed blackbirds, Common Grackle and Western Meadowlark were present but recorded in very low numbers. No wood-warblers were recorded during the count period. Finch numbers were unremarkable but all expected species were recorded.
Atlantic Canada (NB, NL, NS, PE)
By Jared Clarke
The 120 Christmas Bird Count season was a wonderful one throughout most of Atlantic Canada, with its usual mix of wintry weather, fantastic birds and great camaraderie. Who knew at the time that our world would be turned upside down by a pandemic in just a few short weeks! A mild fall with plenty of winds from the south and west led to an array of vagrants and displaced migrants hanging on into winter, while the sudden onset of cold and snow in some areas concentrated birds within count circles. All in all, there was plenty to see and talk about.
A total of 79 counts were completed in the Atlantic region this season; with 35 in Nova Scotia, 30 in New Brunswick, 11 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 3 in Prince Edward Island. Although the number of counts was up from 69 the previous season, involvement remained at similar levels with just over 1900 participant, ~1250 of which put in 3476 hours in the field. The bird tally was also up significantly with 197 species recorded throughout the region (including a few count week observations) – the increase due at least in part to a good number of rare and lingering species throughout.
Despite being rare in North America, Pink-footed Goose was recorded for the third straight season with individuals in St. John’s (NL) and Minto-Chipman (NB). Not to be outdone, a Barnacle Goose was observed during count week in Truro (NS), while Brant was recorded in both NS and NB. The 64 Tufted Duck tallied in St. John’s (NL) was expected, but individuals in Corner Brook (NL), Glace Bay, The Sydneys and Antigonish (NS) were certainly notable. A Redhead in Glace Bay was also regionally rare.
Mild weather certainly contributed to a surprising 16 species of lingering shorebirds in the region (though all in NS & NL). Perhaps the most notable was a Semipalmated Sandpiper near Cape Race, which also furnished NL with a first winter record. A Long-billed Dowitcher in Yarmouth (NS) was also notable. Purple Sandpipers were about typical with 109 in NS and 393 in NL.
The elusive Gray Partridge put in a showing with 27 spotted on the Hillsborough, PEI count. This species has been extirpated from NS, but continues to keep a small yet firm foothold on the island. Similarly, the 236 Wild Turkeys on the St. Stephens NB count (on the border with Maine) represent the only established population in the region. Willow Ptarmigan were recorded in four different circles in NL, while ambitious birders were able to find a Rock Ptarmigan in the Long Range Mountains during the Bonne Bay count.
Diurnal raptors are always a highlight, and this year was no exception. A Black Vulture in Quispamsis-Hampton (NB) was regionally rare, but has been showing up more frequently and may soon become more regular. Twenty-three Turkey Vultures were also spotted in the province, along with 157 in neighbouring NS. Bald Eagles continue to increase in the region, with 1416 individuals reported across all four provinces. Two Golden Eagles in Sackville (NB) were remarkable, while a Gyrfalcon seen in Grand Manan (NB) was the only one this season and always an exciting find.
Not to be outshone, seven species of owl were reported throughout the region including 18 Barred, 12 Northern Saw-whet, 3 Long-eared, 2 Short-eared and 2 Northern Hawk Owls. It was a low year for Snowy Owl with just 3, while (not surprisingly) Boreal Owl was missed altogether. Woodpeckers put in a typical showing across the region, although an American Three-toed Woodpecker in Goose Bay (NL) is notable since it often goes unrecorded during the season.
A surprising four species of wren were recorded in the region this season, including a locally rare Sedge Wren in Halifax-Dartmouth (NS). Carolina Wren has become expected in recent years, although only singles were reported in each of NS & NB this year. Three Marsh Wrens and three Winter Wrens rounded out the count.
Rare and lingering warblers are often a “prize” of the season in Atlantic Canada, and the mild fall this year led to a bonanza in some provinces. A total of eleven species were recorded, including higher than average numbers of expected species such as Yellow-rumped (81), Pine (62) and Orange-crowned Warblers (13). One of the rarest birds of the season was a Hermit Warbler in St. John’s (NL) – the fourth provincial record and latest by several weeks. Other warblers throughout the region included Yellow-breasted Chat (10), Palm (2), Yellow-throated (3), Northern Parula (1), Black-throated Blue (1), Wilson’s (1) and a count week Common Yellowthroat. The only lingering vireos were single Blue-headed Vireos in Brier Island and Amherst, NS.
Other lingering birds of note in the region were a Common Tern (PEI), Eastern Phoebe (NS), Ruby-throated Hummingbird (NS), Tree Swallows (NS) and several Eastern Bluebirds (NS & NB). Notable in the region at any season were Dickcissel (NB & NL), Indigo Bunting (NB) and Eastern Meadowlark (NB).
One of the rarest species in Atlantic Canada this season was a Lark Bunting – very rare anywhere in the east, and a lingering rarity at Broad Cove, NS. Also exciting was a Seaside Sparrow which made a count week appearance in Wolfville, NS. Locally uncommon sparrows also included single Field, Lark and Vesper Sparrows in NS.
By all accounts, it was a mediocre season for finches with many totals well below those of the previous year. Totals were: Pine Grosbeak (589); Purple Finch (1725); White-winged Crossbill (1270); Red Crossbill (98); Common Redpoll (287); Pine Siskin (824); American Goldfinch (12,985) and Evening Grosbeak (1145). House Sparrow numbers were up slightly over last year with 1642, although anecdotally they continue to decline across the region.
By Yousif Attia
A total of 86 Christmas Bird Counts in British Columbia (BC) submitted data for the 120th (2019-20). Two new counts were added: Denny Island-Bella Bella and Kuskanook; and Yoho N.P. was revived after a 12 year “hibernation”. December 15 was the day most counts took place (16), followed by December 14 (12), and December 28 (11). Victoria had the most Field Counters (286) and party effort, followed by Vancouver (207), and Pitt Meadows (144). Participants on the Victoria CBC also put in the most nocturnal effort. Parksville-Qualicum Beach had the most Feeder Counters (59), followed by Creston Valley (32) and Victoria (30).
A total of 787,151 individual birds of 211 species were tallied by 2,904 field counters and 533 feeder counters. Victoria was the top count with 135 species on count day, despite recording nine species less than last year. Four species only detected during Count Week include: Black-backed Woodpecker (Powder King), California Scrub-Jay (Pitt Meadows), Lapland Longspur (Nanaimo), and Common Grackle (Nelson). The top 10 most abundant species in BC, in order of most to least abundant were: Canada Goose, Mallard, European Starling, Glaucous-winged Gull, Northwestern Crow, Dark-eyed Junco, American Wigeon, Pine Siskin, Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon), and Bufflehead. Northwestern Crow (Corvus caurinus) a species that historically has had highest winter abundance along coastal BC, has been lumped with American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) and will no longer be recognized as a separate species on subsequent summaries. Common Raven was the only species reported on all counts, and Bald Eagle was reported for all except one.
The weather in BC leading up to and during the count period was generally seasonal although coastal areas received colder temperatures early on that may have contributed to lower species diversity. Fourteen circles reported precipitation during both the morning and afternoon on count day. Dawson Creek had the coldest low temperature on count day (-20 Celsius) while Parksville-Qualicum Beach enjoyed a count day high of 15 degrees Celsius. Nelson reported the highest accumulation of snow for the second year in a row, and Big White, Powder King, and Yoho N.P. all reported 1 m or more max snow depth.
Species and notes
Canada Goose (65,856) was the most abundant waterfowl species reported in BC, followed by Mallard (65,625), American Wigeon (27,978), Bufflehead (14,092), and Surf Scoter (12,437). White Rock reported the highest counts in Canada for Brant (552) and Cackling Goose (1,871) this year. Chilliwack again, had the most Trumpeter Swans (1,041) in Canada. Both Greater Masset and Victoria reported at least one “Eurasian” Green-winged Teal. Seventeen of the 28 Ruddy Ducks reported in BC, came from Duncan.
The North American high count for Chukars (67) came from Kamloops this year. Th three White-tailed Ptarmigan at Big White was a North American high count. Victoria had the highest count of Pied-billed (69), Horned (481) and Red-necked grebes (255) in Canada. Four Eared Grebes at White Rock and 821 Western Grebes at Skidegate Inlet also represented national high counts. Band-tailed Pigeons were scarce during the CBC season with a high count of five at Parksville-Qualicum Beach, and Vancouver took the highest national total of Eurasian Collared-Dove (380).
Green Heron reports were down from four last year to one (Vancouver) and a Great Egret was a treat for Abbotsford-Mission. An impressive total of 1,349 Pacific Loons at Nanoose Bay and seven Yellow-billed Loons at Hecate Strait represent North American High Counts. The most abundant grebe species was Horned (2,723), followed by Red-necked (1,712) and Western (1,471). Low numbers of Eared Grebes came in from seven circles. Nine Short-tailed Shearwaters at Rose Spit were the only tubenose reported in the country. Common Murre was again the most widely reported and abundant alcid (6,468), followed by Ancient Murrelet (2,233). Hecate Strait and Skidegate Inlet each reported three Thick-billed Murre. New all time high count for Canadian CBCs were set for Pigeon Guillemot (583) at Sidney-South Saltspring and for Double-crested Cormorants (2,361) at Vancouver. Victoria’s Pelagic Cormorant count of 809 was the highest for North America this year.
As is often the case, circles in BC reported North American high counts for Black Oystercatcher (197, Skidegate Inlet), Black Turnstone and Surfbird (540, Pender Islands). A Common Snipe was reported at Skidegate Inlet. A new all-time high count of 583 Pigeon Guillemots were recorded for Sidney-South Saltspring and there were 560 Ancient Murrelet at Little River-Powell River Ferry. North American high counts for Glaucous-winged Gull (8,899) came from White Rock and “Thayer’s” Iceland Gull (711) from Powell River. Galiano-North Saltspring reported an impressive 12 Western Gulls while a total of seven Glaucous Gulls were reported from six circles on count day this year, compared to only one count week bird last year.
Bald Eagle (6,983) was the most abundant species of raptor, followed by Red-tailed Hawk (1,258), Cooper’s Hawk (306), Northern Harrier (197), and Sharp-shinned Hawk (138). Merritt reported the only “Harlan’s” Red-tailed Hawk in the province. An increasing trend in Turkey Vulture winter abundance in North America continues and was evident in BC with 77 reported. Owls were well represented on CBCs with a total of 343 individuals of 11 species, compared to 212 individuals of 11 species during the 119th and 43 individuals of six species the year before that. Great Horned (102) and Barred owls (97) were the most abundant and widely reported species. Vancouver reported the only count day Snowy Owl in BC. Western Screech-Owls were up to seven compared to three count day last year.
Victoria set a new record all-time high count for Anna’s Hummingbird (1,256) and the species continues to increase elsewhere in the province. One Rufous Hummingbird was at Cortes Island, Northern Flicker was the most abundant Woodpecker (6,549), followed by Downy Woodpecker (1,467), and Hairy Woodpecker (648). At least ten circles reported count day American Three-toed Woodpeckers. Penticton had an impressive 35 American Kestrels on count day. Fifteen Peregrine Falcons at Victoria and three Gyrfalcons at Abbotsford-Mission were high counts for Canada. Single Prairie Falcons were reported at Oliver-Osoyoos and Pitt Meadows.
A well-documented Red-throated Pipit was at Victoria and a Fieldfare was reported at Rose Spit, Haida Gwaii. The only reported Say’s Phoebe was at Kelowna and a House Wren was at Deep Bay. Steller’s Jays have bounced back in abundance (4,738) compared to 1,634 reported last year. Prince George by far reported the highest count of Bohemian Waxwings in BC (2,539). A Northern Mockingbird at Greater Masset was a good find. No swallows were detected on the CBC this winter. Victoria had North American high counts for Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Pacific Wren, and Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Canadian high counts for Marsh Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, and American Robin! Penticton BC had a banner year for Western Bluebirds (268) setting a new Canadian all time high count. Also at Penticton were 2 Mountain Bluebirds, while Hat Creek reported 27 Townsend’s Solitaires.
Dark-eyed Junco was the most detected sparrow in the province by a wide margin (33,521). Song Sparrow was in second place (9,764), followed by Spotted Towhee (8,253), Golden-crowned Sparrow (4,414), and White-crowned Sparrow (3,395). The only Harris’s Sparrow in the province were at Creston Valley in stark contrast to last season when they were reported on 10 different counts. Victoria reported the highest Canadian total for Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco. Other BC national highs included Savannah and White-crowned Sparrows (Abbotsford-Mission) and Song Sparrow (Vancouver). Two Yellow-headed Blackbirds at Vernon were a high count in Canada, and the only reported in BC. Single Rusty Blackbirds were at Prince George and Victoria. Notable over-wintering warblers were few and far between with only one Common Yellowthroat at White Rock and one Palm Warbler at Victoria. Pine Siskin was the most abundant finch species although in lower than usual numbers. House Finch was the second most abundant (13,613), followed by American Goldfinch (3,550), and Common Redpoll (1,214).
By Robert Parsons
Wintry weather arrived with a blast on Thanksgiving weekend, with heavy snow, which caused widespread damage to trees and shrubs in many areas. Many trees and shrubs had been stressed by a couple of dry summers, and produced large quantities of seed in response. Christmas Bird Count compilers’ conjectures fell into two broad categories, either the birds had plenty of natural foods to eat and weren’t as visible as usual, or they had abandoned the area en mass, but nearly all agreed numbers were on the low side. Bill Walley, former compiler of the Dauphin count, commented he had never seen such a poor count and this was certainly a reflected theme.
Twenty-one counts were held this year, with no changes from last. Brandon put on a great show and topped the species count with 43. Usual leader Winnipeg was second with 40, followed by Pinawa-Lac du Bonnet with 37, Oak Hammock Marsh at 33, with Cypress River-Spruce Woods and Carman tied at 31 for fifth place. At the opposite end, The Pas & Whiteshell tied for lowest total at 15 species, followed by Cranberry Portage & Dauphin at 16, and Balmoral at 21 rounded out the bottom five.
There were 72 count day species recorded across the province, eight fewer than last year, with two additional count week species (recorded on any of the three days prior or following a count, but not on the day of the count, itself): Golden Eagle at Pinawa & Varied Thrush at Cypress River.
Five species were found on every count: Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-billed Magpie, Common Raven and Black-capped Chickadee. Hairy Woodpecker would have joined this group, but for the incredible omission from Whiteshell. At the other extreme, there were eleven unique species. Those not mentioned elsewhere are Ring-necked Duck at Winnipeg, Common Merganser at Brandon, Ring-necked Pheasant at Lyleton (excluding released/escaped birds elsewhere), and Lapland Longspur at Oak Hammock.
In spite of its continuing decline, the most numerous species was House Sparrow (13,423), followed by Rock Pigeon (8,899)—what would we do without those Eurasian birds?—Black-capped Chickadee (4,688), Snow Bunting (2,796) and Common Raven (2,346) round out the top five.
Although no compilers commented individually, the total of 1098 Sharp-tailed Grouse on 17 counts was certainly notable. Last year Gimli had the North American high count; this year’s total of 201 is short of that, but still quite respectable.
Northern Goshawk was the raptor of note, with eleven individuals on six counts, led by three each at Hodgson & Pinawa.
There were 111 Eurasian Collared-Doves on nine counts, with Delta Marsh/Portage Plains and Minnedosa reporting them for the first time. Leader this year was Portage la Prairie at 47, followed by Cypress River at 34 & Carman at 13. Perhaps surprisingly, the counts with the longest established populations, Glenboro, Lyleton & Morden, had quite low numbers, one to four each. They should now be considered the default dove on Manitoba CBCs, contrasting to the Mourning Dove’s showing of six birds on three counts, with four at Delta and singles at Glenboro & Morden.
Great Gray Owls were numerous this winter, but mostly not inside count circles. There were seven count-day birds in total, with five at Pinawa, singles at Gimli and The Pas, and count week birds at Cranberry Portage & Selkirk. Other owls were harder to come by, with only Pinawa having Northern Hawk Owls, although there were five of them. A Barred Owl was a nice find at Balmoral.
At least four Red-bellied Woodpeckers were in Winnipeg, the only count to record them this year. They have now bred for the last few years in the area and so it makes one wonder if more counts will start recording them regularly. Pileated Woodpeckers have increased in some areas of the province and were recorded on 15 counts this year. While not truly rare, their appearance is always cause for excitement and photo ops, such as the bird on the Balmoral count. Other woodpeckers of note included a Black-backed at Winnipeg, where rare.
Gyrfalcons are always exciting, and one thrilled birders at Gimli.
Riding Mountain had an astounding total of 24 Golden-crowned Kinglets. No other count recorded them, other than count week at Hodgson.
Cypress River cornered the market on western thrushes. In addition to the count week Varied Thrush, they also had a Townsend’s Solitaire on count day. In general thrushes and other frugivorous birds were scarce.
Winnipeg had the only Fox Sparrow, as well as the only Song Sparrows—two on count day, plus a third as a count week only bird. Single Harris’s Sparrows were recorded at Brandon and Cypress River.
Blackbirds were not numerous, but included single Red-wings at Carman & Oak Hammock, two Rusty Blackbirds at Glenboro, and three at Minnedosa, including one photographed by Linda Boys.
Finches were mixed. The usual species, such as Pine & Evening Grosbeaks and redpolls were really hard to come by, setting record lows on some counts or absent altogether, but some of the more “southern” species put on a respectable show—Purple Finches totaled 446 on nine counts, with 384 at Pinawa being noteworthy, American Goldfinches totaled 151 on eleven, but the really big player was Pine Siskin with 1,327 on twelve counts, of which nearly half (666) were at Morden. Crossbills were a little more numerous than usual, with Red Crossbills numbering 92 on seven counts, led by 38 at Cypress River and 35 at Portage; and White-winged Crossbills on five counts, totaling 61,with 29 at Riding Mountain and and 25 at Gimli leading the way.
Winnipeg once again produced a House x Eurasian Tree Sparrow hybrid, but this one was far removed from the previous location, strongly suggesting another hybrid pairing took place.
Documentation of rarities was not as good as usual, and I needed to do more chasing of compilers for them than in other years. A few reports of species were changed to “sp.” or deleted as result of no documentation.
All Manitoba CBCs can be viewed on the National Audubon Society website and I can also provide an Excel file of all the counts to anyone requesting it. Thank you to all compilers and everyone who took part.
By Mike Burrell
We had a record 126 counts in Ontario this year, up four from the last two years and up two from the previous record setting year in 2016/17. Included in this total was one brand-new count, Hornepayne (ONHO) – a warm (cold?) welcome! It is always especially exciting to get increased coverage in Ontairo’s vast north. We also welcomed back four counts that missed last year: Peel-Halton Counties (ONPH), Moscow (ONMS), Kincardine (ONKC), and Dunrobin-Breckenridge (ONDB). Not counted in this total is Presqu’ile (ONPQ) which did run but the data had not been entered as of this report.
The weather patterns leading up to count day always plays a big role. This year most of Ontario experienced cold temperatures and snow by mid-November, followed by more normal conditions leading up to CBC season. The “damage” seemed to have already been done though with many smaller bodies of water icing up during the cold spell in November forcing waterbirds and lingering birds south. December was pretty average for temperature and snow cover so nothing extraordinary to influence the birds.
Count day weather was pretty comfortable for the most part, with an average low of -5° C and average high of -0.4° C; similar to last year but about ten degrees warmer than count year 118! 73 counts had temperatures that cracked the freezing mark. That’s not a figure I have tracked but it seems like a pretty high figure. Niagara Falls was the hotspot with a count day high of 14° C while Halton Hills and West Elgin both also cracked 10° C. Marathon, with a low temperature of -25° C held the less-enviable mark as the coldest count in Ontario, but Rainy River might have a claim to that dubious title as being the only count to not warm up above -20° C this year! Twenty counts reported no snow at all, fewer than last year’s 30, but way up from zero in count year 118. 78 counts had a maximum snow depth of 10 cm or less, so it was a pretty easy year for walking. Hilliardton and Smooth Rock Falls tied for deepest maximum snow depth at 100 cm, but we’ll give the “snowiest count” award to Smooth Rock Falls based on the tie-breaker of minimum snow depth, at 40 cm compared to Hilliardton’s 10 cm.
There were 3697 observers in the field this year, down ten from last year’s record. The 1173 feeder counters however did set a new high mark for Ontario, besting count year 117’s 1108 by 65. Adding together field and feeder counters, the 4870 observers was a new record. All those observers put in a very impressive, but not quite record 8277.56 party hours. Observers logged a very impressive and new record 77,643 km on count days. For the fourth straight year Ottawa-Gatineau led the pack with the most field observers, this year with 137. Kingston again led the way for feeder counters with 70.
A total of 179 species were reported from all counts, the highest since count year 116 and right on the mark for the ten year average. The total count increases by three with the addition of count week species (jaeger sp. [no other jaegers were reported], Great Gray Owl, and Palm Warbler).
It was Blenheim’s turn at the top of the species leader board this year, but with “only” 104. It was generally a poor year for really big species totals and in fact this was the only count to top 100 species. Only Hamilton (97), Point Pelee (95), and Long Point (91) cracked 90. In general, most counts reported at or below their recent averages. This likely had to do with a poor year for winter finches moving south coupled with the lack of lingering species thanks to the cold November. London (76), Woodstock (71), and Brantford (66) led the way for inland counts. As usual, Thunder Bay, with 41 species this year, had the highest total among northern Ontario counts. Hamilton led the way with a whopping 17 provincial highs this year. Next on that list were Point Pelee and Toronto (12 each), Blenheim (11), and Algonquin and St. Clair (10 each).
A total of 1,222,864 individuals were counted, about 80,000 lower than the five-year average – mostly driven by abundant waterbirds. The total count was up about 100,000 and 25,000, respectively over the previous two years though. The top five species this year were American Crow (206,870), Canada Goose (172,555), European Starling (142,056), Mallard (95,420), and Rock Pigeon (48,461); similar to most years although Black-capped Chickadee had noticeably fewer birds and dropped out of the top five this year as a result.
As has been the case during the past few “down years”, waterbirds featured fairly prominently in the list of below-average counts, although definitely not to the same extreme as the last few years, especially year 118. Snow Goose, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, King Eider, Harlequin Duck, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Red-throated Loon, Pied-Billed Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Black-crowned Night-Heron, and American Coot were all recorded in numbers of 50% or less of their 20-year average. Next to waterbirds, probably the biggest factor for low total individuals was the low counts for blackbirds; Red-winged Blackbird and Brown-headed Cowbird were both less than 50% their 20-year average and Eastern Meadowlark, Rusty Blackbird, and Common Grackle were less than 75% of their 20-year average. The Rusty Blackbird and Common Grackle counts were also notable in being the lowest since count years 61 and 63, respectively. Other very low counts included a trio of open-country species: Short-eared Owl (8; the lowest since count year 79), Horned Lark (791; the lowest since count year 80), and Lapland Longspur (20; lowest since count year 66),
As is usually the case there were a few misses this year: Gray Partridge was missed for the fourth straight year so that perhaps no longer qualifies as a surprise miss…that species is rapidly disappearing from the province. For the first time since 1961/62 no Wilson’s Snipes were found on an Ontario CBC. Vesper Sparrow was also missed, for the 15th time in the past 73 years. Brewer’s Blackbird was missed for the third time in 45 years although all three of those misses have been in the past five years. Slightly less surprising misses were Brant, Harris’s Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Great Gray Owl (although there was one on count week) and Boreal Owl.
There was a relatively short list of seven species that set new highs for the province; most are of species showing long-term increasing trends. These included Cackling Goose (94 vs 93), Trumpeter Swan (849 vs 692), Great Egret (2 vs 1), Black Vulture (16 vs 14), Bald Eagle (1728 vs 1631), Sandhill Crane (3717 vs 2137), and Eastern Phoebe (21 vs 15). The one that stands out most here is Eastern Phoebe; despite two relatively cold falls/winters and generally poor years for lingering species, it has now set record highs in two consecutive years, so something interesting is going on.
As far as winter finches go, count year 120 was definitely a below-average year: Pine Grosbeak (385 vs 20-year average of 4207) and Common Redpoll (1075 vs 12,948) were both down 90% or more from their 20-year averages, while Hoary Redpoll (26 vs 54) and Evening Grosbeak (907 vs 2958) were down 50-70%. White-winged Crossbill (1342 vs 2111) and American Goldfinch (24,432 vs 27,075) rounded out the species experiencing a down year. Red Crossbill (291 vs 126), Purple Finch (1578 vs 976), and Pine Siskin (3735 vs 3196) meanwhile had above-average years. Looking at the data in more detail, it was actually a pretty good year for Red Crossbill, Purple Finch and Pine Siskin in central and northeastern Ontario but the good numbers there were offset by very low numbers elsewhere. The Pine Grosbeak count was the lowest since 1983/84 and similarly, Bohemian Waxwing (190 vs 5203) had its lowest year since 1994/95. Irruptive owls were a total split; Northern Hawk Owls led the way with their best showing in a decade with 12 recorded. Barred Owls also had a very big year, with the 105 counted, well short of last year’s record 158, but still good enough for second-highest ever. Snowy Owls also had another good year (what’s new!?) with 156 tallied, good enough for sixth highest ever (five of the top six counts have been in the past seven years). On the other side of the spectrum, Great Gray Owls were missed on count day for only the third time in 25 years. Boreal Owl was missed completely and Northern Saw-whet Owls were below average (9 vs 20-year average of 22).
There are always some exciting finds on CBCs and this year was no exception. No new species were recorded, but two species were recorded for only the second time ever: Slaty-backed Gull and a Northern Fulmar were found on the London and Ottawa-Gatineau counts, respectively. A Western Meadowlark on the Eagle River count was a real surprise and only the third record for an Ontario CBC. Other good finds were a Wilson’s Warbler (6th Ontario CBC record) on London, Spotted Towhee (11th) on Prince Edward Point, Common Gallinule (11th but just the second in the past 27 years) on Wallaceburg, Swainson’s Thrush (14th) on Toronto, Townsend’s Solitaire (20th) on Sandbanks, and Black-headed Gull (12th) and Black-legged Kittiwake (25th) on Niagara Falls.
All in all, it was another excellent CBC season here in Ontario with highs, lows, and everything in between. Here’s to all the hard work the huge team of volunteers put in to making the count a success and for another good year in count year 121-it’s just around the corner!
By Patrick Filatrault
The 120th Christmas Bird Census (CBC) was successful in Quebec again this year. Indeed, there are 8 more species than in 2018-2019, but three fewer than in 2017-2018. A total of 134 species, two hybrids (American Black Duck X Mallard, Snow X Canada Goose) and three species of domestic origin (Domestic goose sp., Mallard (domestic type), Ring-necked Pheasant) were observed on census day or during the week of this one. This total is divided by 48 aquatic species (35 % of all species), 21 raptors (diurnal and nocturnal; 15 %) and 68 terrestrial birds (grouse, woodpeckers, perching birds; 50 %). Temperatures in November and partly in December, on average below normal, resulted in bodies of water largely covered with ice. The depth of snow on the ground during the censuses was generally low, except for a few places in the east of the province. Finally, on December 14, the date when 40% of the censuses were taken, several regions received heavy rain with moderate winds, unfavorable to observation.
Forty-one counts were conducted in Quebec, and five did not take place. Counts were held from December 14 to January 4. The most popular day was December 14 with 16 censuses, followed by December 21 with 7 counts and December 15 with 6. A total of 1,204 people participated in the censuses, this number has stabilized this year, after a slight increase in recent years. The CBC of Quebec has scored the highest number of observers (125), followed by Lennoxville (80), Montreal (75) and Hudson (67).
The species of birds observed in Québec census totaled an impressive total of 260,116 individuals. Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu ranked first with 123,379 birds, mainly due to the presence of the Snow Goose (67,273) and the American Crow (43,658), followed by Montreal with 11,877 birds and Longueuil with 11,610 (including 3,127 Great Black-backed Gull). Otterburn Park (9,717 individuals), Quebec (8,634), Lennoxville (8,441) and Mirabel (8,369) are the other censuses to exceed the 8,000 bird mark. The CBC of Montreal had the largest number of species (74), followed by Quebec, (71), Longueuil (59) and Percé (53).
Five species were reported in all census : Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Raven, and Black-capped Chickadee. Hairy Woodpecker and European Starling were noted in 40 censuses, while Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-breasted Nuthatch and American Goldfinch in 39 CBC. The total number of individuals recorded exceeding 10,000 individuals is: Snow Goose with 68,339, American Crow with 55,644 (the majority in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Granby with 3,599), Canada Goose (31,471) European Starling (12,989), Black-capped Chickadee (12,938), Rock Pigeon (12,133). A trend seems to be emerging for the American Crow; the number has been decreasing since the last six censuses (since 2014-2015): 107,298; 95,455; 84,820; 63,063 and 56,378. Note that the Golden-crowned Kinglet had a good year with 314 individuals seen in 26 CBC, while in 2018-2019, only 27 individuals in 14 CBC were reported. On the other hand, there are low numbers for the following northern species: Bohemian Waxwing (7, at Îles-de-la-Madeleine only), Pine Grosbeak (140), Evening Grosbeak (342) and Common Redpoll (94).
For species at risk or vulnerable or likely to be designated as such, there is one Harlequin Duck (Îles-de-la-Madeleine) and 309 Barrow’s Goldeneyes (distributed in 7 CBC). Bald Eagle totaled 138 individuals in 30 CBC, Golden Eagle (one individual) was seen in Georgeville, while the Peregrine Falcon (8) was reported in 5 CBC
In terms of rare species (in general or for the season), the following species were observed on the count day in one count in Quebec this year : Gadwall (St-Timothée), Red-shouldered Hawk (Cowansville), American Coot (Lennoxville), Wilson’s Snipe (Beauce-Sud), Greater Yellowlegs (Percé), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Québec), Gray Catbird (Longueuil), Pine Warbler (Montréal), Yellow-rumped Warbler (Îles-de-la-Madeleine et Percé), Fox Sparrow (Percé), Lark Sparrow (Montréal), Savannah Sparrow (Baie-Missisquoi), Eastern Towhee (Baie-Comeau) et Scarlet Tanager (Montréal) Western/Eastern Meadowlark (Georgeville).
Finally, there are species that are rarely reported during the censuses and these species are : Greater White-fronted Goose (Laval-Ahuntsic, Longueuil, Québec), Northern Shoveler (Drummondville), Spruce Grouse (Parc Aiguebelle and Tadoussac), Red-throated Loon (Percé), Purple Sandpiper (Tadoussac), Long-eared Owl (Longueuil), Northern Saw-whet Owl (Mirabel), Belted Kingfisher (Îles-de-la-Madeleine), Black-backed Woodpecker (Longueuil et Parc Aiguebelle) and Northern Mockingbird (Percé).
By Guy Wapple
There were 44 Saskatchewan CBCs submitted, an increase of five from last year. Hopefully this is a continuing trend!
The weather was generally cooperative throughout much of the count period. However, the first weekend was cold, with Clark’s Crossing observers dealing with minus 27 C! Things generally improved after that, with Balgonie reaching a balmy plus 3 C on their chosen date!
Actually, the average minimum and maximum temperatures were similar to last year: -11 to -6 C (-10 to -5 C), with wind speeds 8 to 16 km/h (8 to 19 km/h). Snow depth was 5 to 12 cm (6 to 14 cm), just slightly below average. Fog was present on several counts, which may have hampered observers especially in the early morning.
For the third time in the last four years, Gardiner Dam won the crown for the most species with 45. Saskatoon was second with 40, plus four count week species.
Regina (36 plus 3 cw), Estevan (33 plus 4 cw), Qu’Appelle Valley Dam (31) and Prince Albert (30 plus 5 cw) were the only other counts breaking the magic 30 species mark. The average result was down slightly from last year, but was still a fairly impressive 21.4 species on count day, with 23 found during count week.
Having said all that, this was still a fairly decent CBC year in Saskatchewan. There were 90 species recorded: 87 on Count Day, plus 3 seen only during count week: Wood Duck, Short-eared Owl and Western Meadowlark. This was a small increase over 2018’s effort, which tallied 85 species.
A Pacific Loon at Gardiner Dam was a new species for the CBC bringing the province’s all-time list up to 192 species. Other rarities of note included the seventh Double-crested Cormorant at Gardiner Dam and the 10th record of Northern Cardinal at Prince Albert.
Waterfowl were generally found in normal numbers, with the exception of two new provincial high counts established for Canada Geese and Common Goldeneye. There were 15 waterfowl species recorded, which was one more than last year. Cackling Goose were present at Estevan (43), Gardiner Dam (6) and Regina (1). Estevan established a new CBC record with an amazing total of 33,775 Canada Geese!!! This was approximately 20,000 more individuals than last year’s impressive-at-the-time result! Watching that morning flight off Boundary Reservoir towards the surrounding fields with my brother-in-law Craig, will remain as one of my most memorable birding memories! Two Canadas at E.B. Campbell dam, northeast of Nipawin were also notable. For the third consecutive year a male Wood Duck successfully overwintered at Regina, but frustratingly, couldn’t be located on count day! Single Northern Pintails were at Grayson and Regina (CW). Gardiner Dam had a record four Canvasbacks, as well as the only Lesser Scaup (16), Greater Scaup (20) and Red-breasted Merganser (1) reported. Bufflehead sightings were four each at Gardiner and Estevan. E.B. Campbell set a provincial record with 1076 Common Goldeneye! Hooded Mergansers were present at Estevan (4) and Gardiner (1), while Common Mergs were seen at Gardiner (71), Saskatoon (1) and E.B. Campbell (3). The only Ruddy Duck was in its traditional area on Boundary Reservoir at Estevan.
Sharp-tailed and Ruffed Grouse, along with Gray Partridge populations, remained relatively stable. Ring-necked Pheasants were recorded from only three areas, including a decent total of 125 at Estevan. The only Spruce Grouse was a single at E.B. Campbell Dam. With 7105 birds reported from 38 areas, Rock Doves continue to thrive on the prairies. On the other hand, Eurasian Collared-Dove numbers appear to have peaked. Indeed, there was a population decline compared to last year, with 410 individuals reported from 23 areas. After four sightings last year, Mourning Doves went unreported.
As usual, the only American Coots were 11 birds at Boundary Dam, near Estevan. After being absent last year, two Glaucous Gulls maintained their long-standing tradition of hanging out at Gardiner Dam. As mentioned earlier, a Double-crested Cormorant at Gardiner was only the 7th in Sask’s long CBC history!
Most raptors were generally at or below normal numbers this winter. The exception was Northern Goshawk which staged a minor invasion of southern Saskie. They were recorded on 15 counts (with an additional four during cw), doubling last year’s total. Sharp-shinned Hawks rebounded to six from six localities, compared to only two in 2018. A single Cooper’s was well described at Estevan. The only Northern Harrier noted was a pleasant surprise at Craven. There were seven Golden Eagles on four counts, while Bald Eagles declined to 56 birds on 11 CBCs, plus two count week observations. As usual, Gardiner led the way with 22 birds, which is markedly lower than recent years. The presence of duck hunters just south of the dam – another count first! – might have had an impact on the eagles hanging around. As it turned out, it was the last day of the season! In a repeat of last year, Rough-legged Hawks were found on only 3 counts.
Great Horned Owl numbers remained static, with 15 at Morse leading the way! Snowy Owl numbers increased slightly to 65 birds in 16 areas. After being completely absent last year, a couple of the “northern” owls made their appearance. There were single Northern Hawk Owls at Candle Lake and E.B. Campbell, as well as a lone Great Gray at Shell Lake. Single Northern Saw-whets appeared at Morse and Pike Lake, plus a count week bird at Saskatoon. The only Short-eared Owl report was a count week bird at Estevan.
Both Downy and Hairy Woodpecker numbers declined slightly. American 3-toeds were seen in four areas – two of them during count week, while Black-backeds turned up on four CBCs, plus two during count week. For the second consecutive year, one was discovered far to the south of its normal range in Regina. Flicker numbers were only half of last year’s total: 24 birds on 13 counts, plus two more cw occurrences. Two were “Red-shafted”, while one “Intergrade” was reported. Pileated numbers were similar to 2018, with 18 birds on ten counts, plus two more in count week.
Merlin’s declined to only 8 birds on five counts (plus two cw sightings). Always a treat, there were four Gyrfalcons on four CBCs, as well as three cw reports. Single Prairie Falcons showed up at Eastend, Gardiner Dam and Regina.
Northern Shrike numbers were strong for the third consecutive year with 13 birds on 11 counts, plus two more during count week. Corvid numbers remained stable. Magpies were reported from all 45 areas, with Ravens right behind, being found in 43. American Crows were noted at Moose Jaw (1), Pike Lake (2) and, as usual, Saskatoon (4).
Black-capped Chickadee numbers decreased slightly with 3116 birds on 43 counts. However, Boreal Chickadee numbers almost tripled from 2018 levels with 109 birds from nine areas. Horned Lark numbers were average with 1080 in 24 circles. Golden-crowned Kinglets were nearly identical to 2018: there were 20 seen in ten areas (plus one cw). Red-breasted Nuthatch numbers returned to more ‘normal’ levels, with 479 reported 30 circles. White-breasted Nuthatch reports dropped slightly with 220 in 32 areas (plus one during cw). Brown Creeper numbers jumped considerably with 27 birds noted on ten CBCs (plus one cw). With 676 birds in 20 circles (plus one cw), European Starling numbers were far fewer when compared to last year.
Three circles reported Townsend’s Solitaires: Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and Swift Current, with a cw bird at Qu’Appelle. For the third consecutive year, American Robin numbers were down significantly. While seen in nine circles (plus three in cw), there were only 21 individuals counted. Fort Qu’Appelle had the only Varied Thrush. Bohemian Waxwing numbers bounced back slightly compared to the past two years with 4314 from 28 areas, with two more cw reports. In the meantime, Cedars turned up on just two counts: Fort Qu’Appelle and Saltcoats. The latter district reported an amazing 218 birds! They also were a cw species at Turtleford, which is fairly far north for the “summer” waxer!
While personally I feel there aren’t as many House Sparrows as there used to be – probably not a bad thing! – there still were 20,177 reported from 40 circles. This was an increase of just over one thousand individuals. “Winter finch” numbers were generally lower compared with 2017. Having said that, Evening Grosbeak reports were a most pleasant surprise with nearly double the total from 2018: 634 birds seen in 11 areas (plus one cw). Meanwhile, Pine Grosbeak numbers barely declined to 296 on 17 counts (plus two more cw observations). House Finch numbers remain stable. As with last year, Purple Finches were only noted in four areas, with two more during cw. Common Redpolls declined to 484 from 21 areas, compared with last season’s 2545 birds. The only Hoarys reported were a pair at E.B. Campbell Dam. In a reversal of ‘normal’ occurrence, White-winged Crossbills were only seen in three circles, while Reds were recorded from ten (plus one cw). American Goldfinch numbers were up slightly, with 43 birds in 7 areas. A flock of 12 birds at Gardiner Dam was the 112 species for that very productive circle!!! Pine Siskin populations were up sharply with 336 on 13 counts, plus one CW report.
Snow Bunting numbers were also markedly down with 3553 on 32 counts. By comparison, there were 9701 from 29 areas last year. Single American Tree Sparrows were found at Craven and Eastend. Fox Sparrows made a strong showing with single birds at Grayson, Qu’Appelle Valley Dam and Love. The bird in Love – 😉 – also managed to overwinter successfully! Dark-eyed Juncos were down slightly with 126 from 27 circles. Three ‘Oregon’ individuals were noted among them. White-throated Sparrows were reported on three counts, as well as two during cw, which is about average.
A Western Meadowlark at Estevan was a new species for their list, albeit a count week observation. Red-winged Blackbirds showed up in three areas at Morse, Regina and Saltcoats, which is about average. A lone Brewer’s Blackbird at the Qu’Appelle Valley Dam was most unusual. Common Grackles were fewer, with just single birds at Balgonie and Swift Current. The often-elusive Northern Cardinal in Prince Albert decided to show up on count day for once! It was the 10 Sask CBC record.
Get involved today!
You can help monitor and conserve North America’s birds! You should be prepared to commit part or all of the count day as either a field observer or feeder watcher somewhere within the count circle. Field observers cover a portion of the count circle on their own or with a small group, counting all birds they find. Feeder watchers count birds at their feeders for a portion of the day. To get involved in the Christmas Bird Count, find a count near you and contact the local count compiler.
Find a count near you (click on map)
For more information, or data entry support, contact:
Christmas Bird Count Coordinator
1-888-448-BIRD (2473) ext. 198
The Christmas Bird Count is a program of the National Audubon Society and managed by Birds Canada.