The Desbarats Christmas Bird Count took place on December 28th. We were lucky enough to get a beautiful, warm, and sunny day, just before the storm came. 22 field observers and 16 feeder watchers counted a total of 2456 individual birds of 44 species, setting a new record for both. One additional species was recorded during the count week, which takes place three days before and three days after the count day.
The highlights include a Northern Hawk Owl in Desbarats, a Snowy Owl in Tarbutt Township, Horned Larks and a Lapland Longspur in a flock of Snow Buntings, both Red Crossbills and White-winged Crossbills, and an overwintering Brown-headed Cowbird.
The most abundant species was once again Black-capped Chickadee, with a count of 351. Next was European Starling with 311, Blue Jay with 237, American Goldfinch with 234, and Common Raven with 205.
Two notable species that were missed this year were Pine Grosbeak and Evening Grosbeak. Due to there being an abundant amount of natural food available this winter, less birds are coming south this year. This also explains why less local birds are visiting bird feeders.
Thanks to everyone who participated! The data collected will help scientists and conservationists track changes in bird populations across North America.
The full results can be found on The Kensington Conservancy’s website here.