2017 Christmas Bird Count Results

By Dave Hicks

TAS participated in the 118th annual Audubon Christmas Count on December 30, 2017.  The weather was not very pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 8 to 14ºF, winds up to 29 mph and wind chill down to -10ºF.  It was the coldest day of any of counts dating back to 1975.

The number of individual birds seen was rather low – only 5325 vs. 10359 for our long-term average.  Since lakes and many streams were frozen, relatively few waterbirds were seen.  Some field parties had a disappointing day.  Casey Jones commented that “We ended the day with 14 measly species when this area – with open water – would normally produce at least 30 species.”  However, the total number of species seen was surprisingly high, at 65 (plus one hybrid).  This is the fourth largest species list for TAS’s Christmas Count.

No species new to TAS were seen this year.  Some species that were rare in this year’s count (only 1 or two individuals) included Common Merganser, Northern Harrier, Pileated Woodpecker, Golden-Crowned Kinglet, Belted Kingfisher and Common Grackle, among others.  As is typical of our counts, the most abundant species included Canada Goose, House Sparrow and European Starling.  However, American Coots were rather uncommon this year, and Horned Lark and Dark-eyed Junco were more abundant than usual, perhaps because of cold weather to our north and west.  Mute Swans continue to be lower than their peak in the late 2000s-early 2010s.

Participants were Rebekah Bailey, Margit Codispoti, Al Crist, Beth Deimling, Steve Doud, Alex Forsythe, Dave Hicks, Deb Hustin, Casey Jones, Stan Moore, Jim Townsend and Nick Yarde.


  • Pied-Billed Grebe 13
  • Hairy Woodpecker 1
  • Mute Swan 73
  • Northern Flicker 4
  • Tundra Swan 1
  • Pileated Woodpecker 1
  • Canada Goose 1249
  • Blue Jay 57
  • Gadwall 4
  • American Crow 133
  • Mallard 544
  • Cedar Waxwing 25
  • Mallard hybrid 1
  • Eastern Bluebird 28
  • American Black Duck 2
  • European Starling 409
  • Redhead 67
  • Red-Breasted Nuthatch 1
  • Ring-Necked Duck 82
  • White-Breasted Nuthatch 24
  • Lesser Scaup 6
  • Brown Creeper 2
  • Common Goldeneye 42
  • Carolina Wren 1
  • Bufflehead 3
  • Winter Wren 1
  • Hooded Merganser 13
  • Golden-Crowned Kinglet 2
  • Common Merganser 1
  • Black-Capped Chickadee 17
  • Great Blue Heron 4
  • Tufted Titmouse 26
  • Bald Eagle 4
  • Horned Lark 433
  • Northern Harrier 2
  • House Sparrow 433
  • Cooper’s Hawk 4
  • Pine Siskin 2
  • Red-Tailed Hawk 19
  • American Goldfinch 45
  • Rough-Legged Hawk 2
  • House Finch 85
  • American Kestrel 2
  • Snow Bunting 57
  • Wild Turkey 35
  • Fox Sparrow 1
  • American Coot 321
  • Song Sparrow 49
  • Sandhill Crane 62
  • Swamp Sparrow 2
  • Ring-Billed Gull 6
  • White-Crowned Sparrow 2
  • Rock Pigeon 96
  • White-Throated Sparrow 5
  • Mourning Dove 57
  • Dark-Eyed Junco 360
  • Barred Owl 1
  • American Tree Sparrow 258
  • Belted Kingfisher 1
  • Field Sparrow 5
  • Red-Headed Woodpecker 3
  • Northern Cardinal 92
  • Red-Bellied Woodpecker 22
  • Red-Winged Blackbird 5
  • Downy Woodpecker 16
  • Common Grackle 1
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