Record Participants Join Christmas Bird Count
By Barbara Jensen, President, San Juan Islands Audubon
Last Saturday, Dec. 26, we did our annual Christmas bird count circle.
First, I want to thank the 93 people who participated in the count. This is the highest number of people we have had on a count.
So many of you stepped forward to count at your feeders and yards and it really made up for us not covering our circle in groups. There were a handful of groups, but they were distanced and masked and rode in separate vehicles.
The effort involved 82 miles on foot, 160 miles by vehicle, and 11 by boat. Time-wise this was 106.25 hours on foot, 43.25 hours by vehicle, 3.5 hours by boat, and 22.75 hours at feeders.
This does not include time spent on data entry (at least 40 hours on my part) and the many hours our island coordinators spend emailing, calling, and working on data. A big thanks goes out to our coordinators!
The species count results reflected what is being seen all over the Northwest: a big finch invasion year.
We saw record numbers of Pine Siskins and Red Crossbills. Some species were absent this year like Band-tailed Pigeons. Weather always plays a role in what is seen or comes to feeders. Small bird species were lower but I think that was mostly due to them hunkering down in the wind and rain.
You can find past results on National Audubon’s website at https://netapp.audubon.org/cbcobservation/
Happy New Year everyone!