Christmas Bird Count 2019: Preliminary Findings

Fellow birders,

I would like to thank everyone that participated in the Northwest Gloucester County Christmas Bird Count. Yours truly picked another great day of precipitation and fog this time. Fortunately the temperatures were not bad; the day could've been worse (positive encouragement!).

We had a total of 86 species counted. The day started with some of us looking for owls. Eastern Screech owls we're not bothered by the weather, and 15 were found by 4 parties. Duck counts were low. Black Vultures almost outnumbered Turkey Vultures with 170 versus 154 respectively. Hawk numbers seem to be down a little bit. Once again no Bobwhite or Pheasant. Red-bellied Woodpecker and Yellow-shafted Flicker numbers were good and comparable.

Crow (both species) were low, at least until 10:00 AM in some zones, as it was difficult to make out what was in the sky. Nuthatch numbers were low, with only two Redd-breasted Nuthatches seen. Creepers numbered only two as well. Winter Wren numbers seem to be up a little with 14. Also, two Marsh Wrens were spotted by two different parties. Only 4 Catbirds were seen, and no Brown Thrashers.

American Robins were around in masses, particularly in the new developments, where many ornamental pear trees are planted and the birds are gleaning the diminutive pears. Northern finches were pretty much nonexistent with Purple Finch (3) Pine Siskin (0) and American Goldfinch in short supply. Sparrow numbers were somewhat typical except no American Tree Sparrows.

Thanks again for all of the help, support, and time dedicated to this endeavor. This year was the 120th overall count and with our count getting close to 70 years! I will be announcing the full results real soon. Until then, enjoy the holiday season, join us again, and don't forget to keep feeding the birds throughout the winter.

Other birding happenings this winter include Raptor Census, Marsh Raptor Survey, Great Backyard Bird Count, and the remaining Christmas Bird Counts until January 5. Before you know it will be time for Bird Quest!

Ron Kegel, compiler



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