Short-eared Owl - Photo Alan Schmierer

The O’Shaughnessy Reservoir (OHOS) Chirstmas Bird Count was held on Tuesday December 31. It was a very cold day and the morning brought blinding snow showers that finally eased before lunch. We again had a record number of people helping which really paid off. Our species total on December 31 was 79 and we had 3 additional count week species for a total of 82. Both numbers are record highs for the OHOS CBC.

Some highlights were:

  • 2 Short-eared Owls at Glacier Ridge Metro Park
  • 1 American Pipit
  • 1 Long-eard Owl on private property near Emily Traphagen Preserve
  • 1 Winter Wren on private property
  • 1 each Savannah Sparrow, Hermit Thrush and Red-winged Blackbird (female or immature)
  • 1 lovely Gray Catbird

We had several new private areas that were secured for the CBC, and these additions helped our total. The first was Scott’s corporate property, where I worked to secure permission to bird and even had their Chief Ornithologist join Rob Thorn for the count. I got permission to go to Delco Water Treatment plant in Delaware between Home Rd/315 and Liberty Rds. They have four large deep ponds and we added a lot more waterfowl there. They also had great access to the Olentangy River. Three other private home owners gave permission and several special species came from these efforts. My goal as compiler is to add at least 3 private properties to our count circle. I ask teams each year to let me know if they noticed a place to work on for next year. My list is growing for the CBC 2014.

I also had more feeder counters and I worked with Tom Sheley to help spread the word to his customers at Wild Birds Unlimited to fill feeders and contribute their counts that day. A bonus was Red-headed Wood peckers and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and some new feeder counter people who are aware of our 114 year conservation effort.

The big item to me was the increased number of counters. I estimate we had over 50 people who helped. This to me is the important item: increasing the awareness and the importance of counting birds for National Audubon and the CBC. Plus the friendships made while doing this year after year!

Thanks to all who helped with the O’Shaughnessy CBC.