The Sault Ste. Marie Christmas Bird Count took place on December 15, 2018. 67 field observers and 20 feeder watchers counted 57 species for a total of 6204 individual birds. Heavy fog limited visibility for much of the morning, but the sunshine and warmth in the afternoon made up for it!
The counting took place on both the Canadian and American sides of the border. The count circle has a radius of 12km, centred at the middle of the International Bridge, and all the counting takes place within this boundary.
The highlight this year was a Lesser Black-backed Gull, as it was the first time this species was officially recorded on the day of the count. Another great bird was a Northern Mockingbird, which is considered a rare bird for our area, anytime of the year. Some other good birds that were recorded were Cooper’s Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Peregrine Falcon, Song Sparrow, and Rusty Blackbird, all birds not typically seen here in the winter months.
New high counts were set for five species. These counts were 87 Wild Turkeys, 9 Red-bellied Woodpeckers, 42 Pileated Woodpeckers, 11 White-throated Sparrows, and 88 White-breasted Nuthatches. Also of note was a count of 12 Snowy Owls, the second highest count of all-time.
This was the 63rd running of the annual Sault Ste. Marie Christmas Bird Count. The data collected each year provides information on the abundance of birds across North American, as these counts take place all across the continent.
Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time as they participated in the count. It could not happen without you. Special thanks goes out to Dave Euler, who organized the participants, and to Carter Dorscht, who compiled all the data.
To see the full results, visit the Sault Naturalists website here.