The 2008 O’Shaughnessy Reservoir Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, January 3, 2009.  The first O’Shaughnessy CBC was held on December 31, 1956, making this the 53rd year for the count.  (No counts were held in 1960, 1963, and 1983.)

Recent Data

Over the past eight years, the number of species seen has risen along with the number of count participants, giving a more accurate picture of the species to be found in the area.  Here are the data:

Total species484448435149636676
Total participants7610141010253234


  • A Northern Shrike was found on this count.  Unusual for anywhere in Ohio, the shrike is a particularly good find for the central Ohio region.
  • 31 American Kestrels were counted this year, versus 57 in 1993.  Kestrel numbers seem to be down in Ohio in general over the past decade. On the other hand, the 2008 count saw a new high of 88 for White-breasted Nuthatches.
  • Last year’s high count of 13 for Red-breasted Nuthatches was not repeated in the 2008 count, with only 3 located this year.  The 2007 count also produced a highest-ever number of 16 Cooper’s Hawks; the year’s count was down to 10.
  • The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker high was 3 in 2006.
  • Ross’s Goose found this year was a new species for the count.  We also located two Merlins; while not a new bird for the count, even one is a good find and two is unusual.
  • Finally, a Painted Bunting was still in the area at the time of the count after being located in December, 2008.  The status of this bird is unclear, but it is a beautiful visitor no matter how it got here!

Species Seen

Snow Goose (blue form)2
Ross’s Goose1
Cackling Goose2
Canada Goose4431
Tundra Swan3
American Black Duck58
Northern Pintail1
Ring-necked Duck27
Greater Scaup2
Lesser Scaup1
Common Goldeneye3
Hooded Merganser2
Ring-necked Pheasant2
Double-crested Cormorant40
Great Blue Heron (Blue form)60
Bald Eagle14
Northern Harrier3
Sharp-shinned Hawk1
Cooper’s Hawk10
Red-shouldered Hawk4
Red-tailed Hawk75
Rough-legged Hawk1
American Kestrel31
Ring-billed Gull538
Rock Pigeon122
Mourning Dove514
Eastern Screech-Owl1
Great Horned Owl2
Barred Owl5
Short-eared Owl1
Belted Kingfisher5
Red-headed Woodpecker1
Red-bellied Woodpecker120
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker1
Downy Woodpecker113
Hairy Woodpecker27
Northern Flicker31
Pileated Woodpecker8
Northern Shrike1
Blue Jay192
American Crow172
Horned Lark73
Carolina Chickadee251
Tufted Titmouse98
Red-breasted Nuthatch3
White-breasted Nuthatch88
Brown Creeper8
Carolina Wren21
Golden-crowned Kinglet1
Eastern Bluebird86
American Robin858
Gray Catbird1
Northern Mockingbird19
European Starling6576
Cedar Waxwing22
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler6
American Tree Sparrow237
Field Sparrow6
Savannah Sparrow5
Song Sparrow103
Swamp Sparrow2
White-throated Sparrow99
White-crowned Sparrow9
Dark-eyed Junco308
Northern Cardinal281
Painted Bunting1
Common Grackle4
Brown-headed Cowbird1
Purple Finch1
House Finch150
Pine Siskin5
American Goldfinch192
House Sparrow672