95th Hamilton CBC Results - Dec 26, 2015

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Rob Porter

Jan 5, 2016, 10:22:40 PM1/5/16
to Hamilton Birds, ONTBIRDS
The 95th Hamilton Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, December
26 under mild and slightly windy conditions. Most of the day was
overcast, with some spitting rain near the end of the afternoon. The
overall number of birds counted was just barely the second lowest in
30 years, despite having many more counters in the field than usual.

Participants: 105
Total species on count day: 93 (10-year avg is 105)
Additional count week species: 4
Total individual birds: 38,103 (10-year avg is 63,165)

No new species were reported, however one new hybrid (Herring x Great
Black-backed Gull) was counted and a single House Wren was counted for
the second time ever in the history of this count.

Compared to the previous year, species that were not found in as great
as numbers were mostly ducks and gulls, which is not surprising
without any ice on Lake Ontario or Hamilton Harbour on the count day.
Additionally, nearly 3,000 fewer starlings than usual were counted
this year despite more effort put into "invasive species birding" in
the urban downtown core this year.

Although most species were low in numbers, there are a couple notable
exceptions. The Carolina Wren saw it's best count year at 62
individuals counted, a full 10 more than last year's record. This
species has been seen every year of the count since 1986 and has seen
a steady incline in the last ten years as it pushes it's common
territory northwards, even with the harshly cold winters of late.
Additionally, at 886 counted the American Goldfinch saw its best year
by far since 2009.

After count week was finished, the vagrants and rarities appeared, and
we barely missed adding Rusty Blackbird, Grey Catbird, Palm Warbler,
Snowy Owl, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and Bohemian Waxwing to the count
week. Ah well.

Below is the full list of species and count:

Common Loon 7
Horned Grebe 1
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Red-necked Grebe 4
Double-crested Cormorant 110
Great Blue Heron 8
Trumpeter Swan 176
Canada Goose 4551
Cackling Goose 2
Mute Swan 129
Tundra Swan 46
Gadwall 54
American Wigeon 2
American Black Duck 210
Mallard 2888
Mallard x American Black Duck (hybrid) 8
Northern Shoveler 126
Northern Pintail 3
Green-winged Teal 176
Canvasback 195
Redhead 42
Ring-necked Duck 11
Greater Scaup 2077
Lesser Scaup 488
Surf Scoter 24
White-winged Scoter 276
Black Scoter 6
Long-tailed Duck 2307
Bufflehead 422
Common Goldeneye 1550
Hooded Merganser 189
Common Merganser 191
Red-breasted Merganser 195
Ruddy Duck 234
unidentified duck sp. 505
Bald Eagle 7
Northern Harrier 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 6
Cooper's Hawk 13
unidentified accipiter sp. 1
Red-tailed Hawk 138
American Kestrel 8
Merlin 7
Peregrine Falcon 3
Wild Turkey 24
American Coot 167
Sandhill Crane 1
Ring-billed Gull 2229
Herring Gull 428
Herring x Great Black-backed Gull (hybrid) 1
Iceland Gull 1
Great Black-backed Gull 146
unidentified gull sp. 41
Rock Pigeon 2595
Mourning Dove 415
Eastern Screech-Owl 10
Great Horned Owl 6
unidentified owl sp. 1
Belted Kingfisher 8
Red-bellied Woodpecker 84
Downy Woodpecker 234
Hairy Woodpecker 94
Northern Flicker 5
Pileated Woodpecker 8
Northern Shrike 1
Blue Jay 327
American Crow 673
Common Raven 5
Black-capped Chickadee 1569
Tufted Titmouse 4
Red-breasted Nuthatch 12
White-breasted Nuthatch 235
Brown Creeper 19
Carolina Wren 62
House Wren 1
Winter Wren 16
Golden-crowned Kinglet 14
Eastern Bluebird 14
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 276
Northern Mockingbird 10
European Starling 5377
Cedar Waxwing 294
Eastern Towhee 1
American Tree Sparrow 456
Fox Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 12
Swamp Sparrow 2
White-throated Sparrow 28
White-crowned Sparrow 3
Dark-eyed Junco 998
Northern Cardinal 421
Red-winged Blackbird 5
Common Grackle 1
Purple Finch 1
House Finch 291
Pine Siskin 5
American Goldfinch 886
House Sparrow 2186

Thanks to all the participants, at the feeders and out in the field!

Rob Porter, compiler
Hamilton, ON

Robert Gerald Porter

Hamilton Naturalists' Club / Field Events Director / http://hamiltonnature.org/

Peter Scholtens

Jan 6, 2016, 10:09:41 AM1/6/16
to Rob Porter, Hamilton Birds
Rob, thanks for all your hard work in putting this together. You're efforts and enthusiasm are greatly appreciated by the entire birding community!


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Rob Porter

Jan 6, 2016, 10:32:32 AM1/6/16
to Hamilton Birders, r...@inpictures.ca
Thanks Pete!

Just a note for Hamilton folks, if you happen to have any sightings in count week (Dec 23 - Dec 29) of species not mentioned in this list, please let me know, and send me documentation about location, and any photos you might have.

A quick scan of eBird got me Snowy Owl for the week just now (a photo posted from eastern shore of Hamilton Harbour on the 23rd) for count week. 

Count week species thus far:

Snowy Owl
Brown-headed Cowbird
Marsh Wren
Turkey Vulture
Horned Lark (now a Count Day species as an error on a report form was discovered on a follow up)

Specifically, if anyone saw the Great Cormorant or Black-legged Kittiwake within the circle I'd love to know (though depending on the dates sighted this was within the Peach Tree count potentially), or species like Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, Rough-legged Hawk, Glaucous Gull, Bonaparte's Gull, Wood Duck, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Common Redpoll, Rusty Blackbird, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl within the count dates I'd love to hear from you. I'll be following up with searches of eBird later but I'd like to have more documentation than a simple sighting note on eBird (e.g., a photo or description) to add it to the count.

Thanks everyone for a great count!


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