Special thanks to Tony Licata for organizing the Christmas Bird Count again this year and compiling the following report. It was a great year! For more information or if you are interested in volunteering for next year’s count, contact Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Licata’s interesting observations:
Despite later migration, Hurricane Ian habitat destruction and partly cloudy skies with breezy winds, our total count was UP to 17036, a 41% increase compared to 12053 in 2021; 22865 in 2020; 16446 in 2019; 22330 in 2018; 19,247 in 2017; 21,266 in 2016; 23,272 in 2015. The increase in numbers in 2022 was due to a 1,352% increase in Lesser Scaup 2193 versus 151 in 2021. A decrease of 49% in European Starlings lessened the increase.
On count day we saw 133 species, an increase of 5% versus 127 in 2021; 125 in 2020; 120 in 2019; 136 in 2018; 137 in 2017; 140 in 2016; 133 in 2015; 125 in 2014; 143 in 2013. For count week we saw 134 species, a decrease of 5% versus 137 in 2021; 135 in 2020; 125 in 2019; 140 in 2018; 144 in 2017; 145 in 2016; 133 in 2015.
We had over 60 participants who spent over 100 hours in search of birds by foot, car, golf cart, or boat, and covered over 400 miles by land or sea.
Of note, we recorded on count day for the first time ever three species: Mandarin Duck, Gray-headed Swamphen and Black-throated Green Warbler.
There were 19 birds that we recorded through count week in 2022 but not in 2021: Least Bittern, Northern Bobwhite, Crested Caracara, Long-billed Dowitcher, Dunlin, Peregrine Falcon, American Goldfinch, Burrowing Owl, Barred Owl, Northern Parula, Virginia Rail, American Robin, Sora, Grasshopper Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler, Cedar Waxwing Whip-poor-will, and marsh Wren. There were 15 birds that we did not record through count week in 2022 but did in 2021: Mallard/Mottled Duck, Canada Goose, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Short-tailed Hawk, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Snail Kite, Red-breasted Merganser, Merlin, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Sanderling, Black Skimmer, Cinnamon Teal, Cinnamon/Bluewinged Teal, Eastern Towhee, and Red-headed Woodpecker.
Of the birds we did see, there were 8 species that had at least a 65% decline: Mallard Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Herring Gull, Common Loon, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Tufted Titmouse, and Downy Woodpecker.
Counts were up at least 200% for 15 species including: Eastern Bluebird, Indigo Bunting, Fish Crow, Great Crested Flycatcher, Common Grackle, Scrub Jay, White Pelican, Black-bellied Plover, Lesser Scaup, Forster’s Tern, Ruddy Turnstone, Solitary (Blue-headed) Vireo, Prairie Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, and Greater Yellowlegs.
There can be wide fluctuations in counts from one year to the next as with Eastern Bluebird, Indigo Bunting, Scrub Jay, Lesser Scaup, Forster’s Tern, Yellow-throatedWarbler, and Greater Yellowlegs, which declined more than 65% in 2021, but rose more than 200% in 2022. The opposite held true for Mallard Duck, Herring Gull, Common Loon, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Tufted Titmouse which increased more than 200% in 2021, but declined more than 65% in 2022.
2022 The top 10 birds 2021 The top 10 birds
accounting for 73% of the total sightings were: accounting for 59% of the total sightings were:
1. Lesser Scaup 2193 (13%) 1. European Starling 1467 (12%)
2. Fish Crow 2165 2. Mourning Dove 944
3. Common Grackle 2007 3. White Ibis 894
4. Tree Swallow 1333 4. Tree Swallow 867
5. Double-crested Cormorant 1071 5. Double-crested Cormorant 742
6. Mourning Dove 1010 6. Boat-tailed Grackle 716
7. White Ibis 804 7. Common Grackle 502
8. Boat-tailed Grackle 795 8. Laughing Gull 391
9. European Starling 747 9. Black Vulture 270
10. Laughing Gull 319 10. Turkey Vulture 261
Fish Crow, Lesser Scaup were added to the top ten, while Black and Turkey Vultures were deleted; otherwise all the other species just changed their rankings.
The following 8 birds had equal to or higher totals than in any of the last 20 years: LeastBittern, Indigo Bunting, Crested Caracara, Fish Crow, Peregrine Falcon, Barn Owl, Northern Parula, and Yellow-throated Warbler.
There were 12 birds that are seen occasionally which we did not record through count week in the last two years: American Bittern, Canvasback, Short-billed Dowitcher, Marbled Godwit, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red Knot, American Redstart, Northern Shoveler, Vesper Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, American Wigeon, and Sedge Wren. Common Name of bird2022 % 22 to 212021Anhinga93-2%95Bittern American00Bittern Least3***0Blackbird Brewer’s00Blackbird Red-winged41-63%112Blackbird Rusty00Blackbird Yellow-headed0cwBluebird Eastern7250%2Bobwhite Northern11***0Bufflehead00Bunting Indigo11267%3Bunting, Painted60%6Canvasback00Caracara, Crested3***0Cardinal Northern72-25%96Catbird Gray43-33%64Coot American8854%57Cormorant Double-crested107144%742Cowbird Brown-headed10-64%28Cowbird Shiny00Crane Sandhill19-41%32Crow American35-39%57Crow Fish2165898%217Dove Common Ground16-63%43Dove Eurasian Collared88-50%176Dove Mourning10107%944Dove Ringed Turtle00Dove Rock (Rock Pigeon)150103%74Dove, White-winged23-58%55Dowitcher Short-billed00Dowitcher Long-billed35***0Duck Mallard2-78%9Duck Mottled111-46%204Duck, Mallard/Mottled01Duck, Mandarin1!!!!Duck Muscovy40-29%56Duck Ring-necked2-96%50Duck Ruddy00Duck Whistling-Black Bellied232-3%238Duck, Wood00Dunlin4***0Eagle Bald2717%23Egret Cattle143-16%170Egret Great1140%114Egret Reddish00Egret Snowy27-47%51Falcon, Peregrine2***0Finch, House30%3Flicker Northern (Yellow-shafted)950%6Flycatcher Great Crested3200%1Flycatcher, Least00Flycatcher, Scissor-tailed0-100%1Frigatebird Magnificent10%1Gadwall00Gallinule Common14155%91Gallinule Purple2-33%3Gnatcatcher Blue-gray108-22%138Godwit, Marbled00Goldeneye Common00Goldfinch American4***cwGoose Canada0-100%1Goose Snow00Grackle Boat-tailed79511%716Grackle Common2007300%502Grebe Eared00Grebe Horned00Grebe Pied-billed28-3%29Gull Bonaparte’s00Gull Franklin’s00Gull Great Black-backed00Gull Lesser Black-backed0-100%1Gull Herring4-81%21Gull Laughing319-18%391Gull Ring-billed16122%132Harrier Northern10%1Hawk Cooper’s32Hawk Red-shouldered5984%32Hawk Red-tailed2-50%4Hawk Sharp-shinned0cwHawk, Short-tailed0-100%4Hawk,Broad-winged00Hawk, Swainson’s00Heron Great Blue (Blue form)65-3%67Heron Great Blue (White form)00Heron Green10-38%16Heron Little Blue68-52%143Heron Tricolored20-31%29Hummingbird Ruby-throated0-100%1Ibis Glossy9412%84Ibis White804-10%894Jay Blue107-8%116Jay Scrub16700%2Kestrel American19-10%21Killdeer4567%27Kingbird,Eastern00Kingfisher Belted3119%26Kinglet Ruby-crowned2100%1Kite Snail0-100%1Knot Red00Limpkin2618%22Loon Common1-75%4Meadowlark Eastern5-29%7Merganser Hooded8-47%15Merganser Red-breasted0-100%47Merlin0-100%2Mockingbird Northern27836%205Night-Heron Black-crowned0-100%7Night-Heron Yellow-crowned3-86%21Nuthatch Brown-headed525%4Oriole, Northern00Osprey57-8%62Ovenbird1-50%2Owl Burrowing1***0Owl Eastern Screech00Owl Great Horned10%1Owl,Barred5***0Owl, Barn00Oystercatcher American00Parakeet Monk11-45%20Parula, Northern3***cwPelican Brown63-57%148Pelican White35289%9Phoebe Eastern2713%24Pintail Northern00Pipit, American00Plover Black-bellied221000%2Plover Semipalmated2117%18Rail Clapper2100%1Rail, King00Rail, Virginia1***0Redhead00Redstart, American00Robin American175***cwSanderling0-100%8Sandpiper Least4245%29Sandpiper Spotted6-25%8Sandpiper Western1***0Sapsucker Yellow-bellied2100%1Scaup Lesser21931352%151Scaup, Greater00Scoter, Black00Shoveler Northern00Shrike Loggerhead158-5%166Skimmer Black0-100%8Snipe, Wilson’s740%5Sora2***cwSparrow Bachman’s0cwSparrow Chipping00Sparrow Grasshopper1***0Sparrow House3030%23Sparrow Savannah650%4Sparrow Song00Sparrow Swamp3***0Sparrow, Vesper00Sparrow, White-throated00Spoonbill Roseate1-83%6Starling European747-49%1467Stork Wood438%40Swallow Barn00Swallow Northern Rough-winged00Swallow Tree133554%867Swamphen, Gray-headed1!!!!Swan Mute00Tanager, Scarlet00Tanager, Summer0cwTeal Blue-winged18-63%48Teal Cinnamon0-100%1Teal Cinnamon/Bluewinged Hybrid0-100%1Teal Green-winged00Tern Caspian00Tern Common00Tern Forster’s242300%1Tern Royal47-60%117Tern Sandwich10%1Thrasher Brown2100%1Thrush Hermit00Titmouse Tufted3-67%9Towhee Eastern0-100%6Turkey Wild00Turnstone Ruddy9350%2Vireo, Bell’s00Vireo, Solitary (Blue-headed)3200%1Vireo White-eyed3-40%5Vireo Yellow-throated00Vulture Black176-35%270Vulture Turkey247-5%261Warbler Black-and-white3-50%6Warbler Black-throated Green1!!!!Warbler, Orange-crowned2***0Warbler Palm1828%168Warbler Pine82-61%210Warbler Prairie4300%1Warbler Yellow-rumped (Myrtle)131-22%168Warbler Yellow-throated12300%3Warbler Yellow00Warbler Black-throated Blue00Waxwing Cedar9***0Whip-poor-willcw***0Wigeon, American00Willet4100%2Woodcock, American00Woodpecker Downy2-67%6Woodpecker Hairy0cwWoodpecker Pileated6-33%9Woodpecker Red-bellied59-24%78Woodpecker Red-cockaded20%2Woodpecker Red-headed0-100%1Wren Carolina10-44%18Wren House6-45%11Wren Sedge0cwWren,Marsh2***0Yellowlegs Greater12300%3Yellowlegs Lesser567%3Yellowthroat Common4-56%9Yearly Totals1703641%12053number of species1335%127including count week134-2%137