2019 CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT A weather-related change of date brought out fewer counters this year. Here are a few highlights from the intrepid band that braved the cold for our 2019 count:
- Our counters identified 69 species, several more than the historical median of 61.
- However, our count of 8,857 individual birds fell below the median of 12,604.
- And, our total of 24 counters is about 33% below our median of 35.
- We tallied an all-time species high count at Manawa for the Long-tailed Duck.
- We also hit all-time high counts for the Northern Shoveler, American Robin, Western Meadowlark and Red Crossbill.
- But we witnessed all-time low counts for the Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse and House Sparrow.
Most likely, inaccessibility or damage to natural habitats from last year's flooding negatively impacted the number of birds found, as did the lower number of people counting. Special thanks to Rick Schmid for organizing the event, Neal Ratzlaff for leading the count and Candy Gorton for cleaning the ASO office and rounding up a pizza dinner for the participants.