Approximately one-third of Oregon’s Christmas Bird Count communities decided to forego the count this year, but Douglas County birders (and friends) were anxious to get out and participate in one of their favorite activities of the year! The enthusiasm was contagious! We had 42 participants this year, one of the most ever! Team sizes were decreased to be primarily family units and individuals, and some areas were divided into smaller sections to accommodate additional teams. Overall it was a great success and the weather was kind to us as well!
Long-time participants Dale and Elva Paulson decided to stay home this year and count birds in their yard. Elva’s notes and sketches from the day continue to inspire us with the beauty and creativity that can be found anywhere. Thank-you Elva.
This year we had a total of 19,461 individuals, up from 15,287 last year, but still roughly an average number. Our species total was 114, up from 106 last year and a bit over the long-term average of about 110. The ten most numerous species this year were: EUROPEAN STARLING (3039), CANADA GOOSE (1559), AMERICAN ROBIN (1289), AMERICAN COOT (1208), DARK-EYED JUNCO (1095), MALLARD (683), BREWER’S BLACKBIRD (677), AMERICAN WIGEON (597), RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (591), and ROCK PIGEON (480), remarkably similar to last year, but with Rock Pigeon far outnumbering Wild Turkey (289) this year. However, the ten most widespread species, found in 16 or more of 18 team areas were: AMERICAN ROBIN (18), DARK-EYED JUNCO (18), BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (18), WESTERN SCRUB-JAY (18), NORTHERN FLICKER (18), EUROPEAN STARLING (17), MALLARD (17), STELLER’S JAY (17), GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW (16), and SPOTTED TOWHEE (16). In contrast, 12 species were found in only one team area and not found by any other team.
For more detail on this year’s count and additional photos from this and previous CBCs, see Matt Hunter’s blog at mghwildlife.com/cbcs.