2017 Columbus CBC Uses Mild Weather to Bulk Up Bird Totals

Pine Warbler - Photo USFWS

Count Summary

On December 17, 74 observers sponsored by CAS spent the day counting birds in different areas of Columbus.  Relatively mild weather reduced the numbers of waterfowl and winter vagrant birds, but still boosted numbers of resident birds. Sixteen teams were able to push up totals of 79 species and  36,130 individual birds, with scads of high counts for different species.

Count Date: December 17; 6:00 a.m. To 6:00 p.m.     Temp. 33-37 ºF.  Wind WSW 0-3 mph   Still water frozen, moving water open.  A.M. cloudy;  P.M. overcast with some drizzle.  Observers: 72 in the field in 16-20 parties, 2 at feeders.   Total party hours:  151 (103 on foot,  45 in cars, 1 on bike, 2 owling).   Total Party miles:  287 (101 on foot,  183 in cars, 4 on bike, 4 owling)

Species Totals

Pied-billed Grebe – 8;  Double-crested Cormorant – 28;  Great Blue Heron – 35;  Mute Swan – 2;  Cackling Goose – 1 (LS);  Canada Goose – 2784;  Snow Goose – 1; Wood Duck – 3;  Black Duck – 111;  Mallard – 890;  N. Shoveler – 4;  Green-winged Teal – 1;  Gadwall – 9; Ring-necked Duck – 116;  Bufflehead – 1;  Red-br. Merganser – 4;  Hooded Merganser – 176;  Ruddy Duck – 1;  Sharp-shinned Hawk – 3;  Cooper’s Hawk – 16;  Red-shouldered Hawk – 8;  Red-tailed Hawk – 51;  Bald Eagle – 5;  Merlin – 3;  American Kestrel – 8;  Wild Turkey – 39; Ring-billed Gull – 1081;  Herring Gull – 73;  Rock Dove –1210;  Mourning Dove – 710;  E. Screech Owl – 1; Great Horned Owl – 2;  Barred Owl – 7;  Belted Kingfisher – 25;  Red-headed Woodpecker – 2; Red-bellied Woodpecker – 251;  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 9;  Downy Woodpecker – 236;  Hairy Woodpecker – 24;  N.Flicker – 119;  Pileated Woodpecker – 22;  Blue Jay – 502;  American Crow – 274;  Horned Lark – 20;  Carolina Chickadee – 666;  Tufted Titmouse – 187;  White-breasted Nuthatch – 246;   Red-breasted Nuthatch – 1;  Brown Creeper – 22;  Winter Wren – 9;  Carolina Wren – 251; Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 1;  Golden-crowned Kinglet – 37;  Eastern Bluebird – 65;  Hermit Thrush – 2; American Robin – 2078;  N.Mockingbird – 34;  Gray Catbird – 1 (DL,DS);  European Starling – 19,538;  Cedar Waxwing – 329Pine Warbler – 1 (ES);  Yellow-rumped Warbler – 55;  Northern Cardinal – 773;  Eastern Towhee – 22;  American Tree Sparrow – 19 (low);  Song Sparrow – 152;  Swamp Sparrow – 4;  Eastern Fox Sparrow – 2; White-throated Sparrow – 475;  White-crowned Sparrow – 8;  Dark-eyed Junco – 393;  Rusty Blackbird – 26;  Red-winged Blackbird – 15;  Common Grackle – 5;  Brown-headed Cowbird – 30;  House Finch – 456;  American Goldfinch – 230;  Pine Siskin – 2;  House Sparrow – 1110

Totals:   79 species,  36,131  individuals

Birds seen Count Period, but not Count Day:  American Wigeon,  Common Goldeneye,  Black-crowned Night Heron,  Peregrine,  White-winged Crossbill

Observers

Observers:  Cheryl Arick, Charlie & Linda Bombaci, Jenny Bowman, Linda Brenner, John & Gerry Brevoort, Kristen Burton, Ashley & Matt Collins, Rose Conrad, Tim Daniel,  Berny Daugherty, Ken & Julie Davis, Amy Densborn, Jalyn Devereaux, Alex Eberts,  John Finn, Diana Fowler,  Brad Gambill, Charanya Ganesh, Kandace Glanville, Bret Graves, Kay Griesen, Nina Harfmann,  Bill Heck, Yvette Higgins,  Julie, Dan, Rachel, & Eric Iven, Becky & Mike Jordan, David Kelley, Jonathan Knape,  Jennifer Kuehn,  Donna Kuhn,  Kristan Leedy,  Helen Lindsay, Doreen Linzell; Heather Luedecke, Karen Martens, Bernie Master,  Jim McCormac,  Dawn & Chris McCoy,  Bob McNulty, Barbara Merritt, Dick & Kathy Miller, James Muller, Angelika Nelson, Sharon Newell, Lori Patterson, Sam Pollock, Pam Raver, Stephanie Rogers, Robert Royse, Jen Rudy, Dan Sanders, Katelyn & Stacey Shelton, Irina Shulgova, Bruce Simpson, Leslie Sours, Gene Stauffer, Emily Sypolt, Erica Szeyller, Rob Thorn (compiler), Pam Unger, Carl Winstead

Details

Columbus counters found lots to crow about, even if the weather wasn’t nasty enough to push in many unusual birds.  The mild temperature encouraged teams to work diligently in the morning, before afternoon drizzle discouraged both the birds and the birders.  It was a great count if you savored woodpeckers, flock birds (chickadees, nuthatches), or wrens; we set many count records for quite a few of these species.  It was less interesting if you liked ducks, sparrows, or winter finches, where the lack of snow or cold weather failed to concentrate these birds at our lakes or feeders.  We still managed to find a Cackling Goose and Snow Goose around the OSU campus (Leslie Sours, Bret Graves), even though waterfowl numbers were sluggish.  With so many motivated observers, we also pulled out a few landbird rarities, including our third-ever Pine Warbler (Emily Sypolt), sixth-ever Gray Catbird (Dan Sanders, Doreen Linzell), and a count-week White-winged Crossbill (Bruce Simpson).