Christmas Bird Count 2016: O’Shaughnessy Reservoir

Great Blue Heron - Photo Earl Harrison

Summary

On December 31, 2016, 71 observers sponsored by Columbus Audubon spent the day counting birds in northwest Columbus, including areas of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.  It was a cold day (25 – 36F) and the afternoon winds gusted up to 33 -35 mph, making birding a challenge.  Our 71 observers (5 were between 8 and 18 years of age) and 5 feeder counters were able to tally 79 species for count day.

Count Date

Saturday, December 31, 2016; 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Still water partially open and some frozen, moving water open. The day was partly cloudy to start and totally cloudy afternoon with some sleet and snow mixing but not accumulating.  Again our biggest problem was the blowing and gusting high winds.

Hits and Misses

Our misses surprised me, and some were the 5 count week birds which do not get added (by National Audubon rules) to the count day species or totals. These were Barred Owl, Red-headed Woodpecker, Bonaparte’s Gull, Merlin, and Winter Wren.

Totals

79 species, 28,0714 individuals. We had 79 species last year, too, and 81 species in count 2013.

Thank-yous

Special thanks go to the 13 parties and 71 people in the field, along with the five feeder counters, giving their time for the 117th year of citizen science for National Audubon.  Glacier Ridge Metro Park had 35 counters, a high for them. Special thanks to two Ohio Young Birders Club students: Adriana (13) and Stephen (18), as well as three youths under the age of 8-12. We also had four college students helping.

Species Totals

Great Blue Heron – 23; Mute Swan – 3; Snow Goose – 1, Canada Goose – 4408;

Black Duck – 11; Mallard – 2574; Gadwall – 10; Lesser Scaup – 3; Ring-necked Duck – 25;

Common Goldeneye – 49; Hooded Merganser – 38; Common Merganser – 11; Red-breasted Merganser – 2; Wood duck – 4; American Wigeon – 11; Northern Pintail – 1; Redhead – 2; Bufflehead – 10; Ruddy Duck – 1; Horned Grebe – 2; Pied-billed Grebe 1

Bald Eagle – 10; Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1; Cooper’s Hawk – 18; Northern Harrier – 15;

Red-shouldered Hawk – 5; Red-tailed Hawk – 55; American Kestrel – 24; Rough-legged Hawk 2;

Great Horned Owl – 3;  Wild Turkey 1; Sandhill Crane – 2; American Coot – 6; Ring-billed Gull – 1303;

Herring Gull – 1; Rock Dove –263; Mourning Dove – 23;

Belted Kingfisher – 2; Red-bellied Woodpecker – 88; Yellow-bellied Sapsucker –4; Downy Woodpecker – 107; Hairy Woodpecker – 20; Northern Flicker – 61;  Pileated Woodpecker – 2

Blue Jay – 193;  American Crow – 403;  Horned Lark – 61;  Carolina Chickadee – 184;  Tufted Titmouse – 104;  White-breasted Nuthatch – 95;   Red-breasted Nuthatch – 12;  Brown Creeper – 16;  Carolina Wren –31; Golden-crowned Kinglet – 6;  Eastern Bluebird – 219;  Hermit Thrush – 1;  American Robin – 219;

Northern Mockingbird – 5;  European Starling – 6738; Cedar Waxwing – 83;  Yellow-rumped Warbler – 12;  Northern Cardinal – 276;  American Tree Sparrow – 101;  Lapland Longspur – 5; Field Sparrow – 1;

Chipping Sparrow – 2; Song Sparrow – 34; Swamp Sparrow – 1; White-throated Sparrow – 106;

White-crowned Sparrow – 4; Fox Sparrow – 15; Eastern Towhee – 2; Dark-eyed Junco – 337;

Eastern Meadowlark – 1;   Common Grackle – 2; Brown-headed Cowbird – 11; Red-winged Blackbird – 13; House Finch – 603; American Goldfinch – 187;   House Sparrow –635

Next Year

See you next year on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. Please hold the date to come out and count!

Darlene Sillick (azuretrails@columbus.rr.com) and Kyle Davis (kmdavis@owu.edu), OHOS CBC co-compilers