Here are the long-delayed results of our Christmas Bird Count:
The Champlain Islands count was held on December 18, 2016. We had 33
people in the field and 10 people watching feeders. We logged 4 hours
(13.7 miles) of nocturnal birding; 12.8 hours (11.1 miles) by foot; 54
hours (365 miles) by car; and 20.5 hours watching feeders.
We ended up with 60 count-day species plus 5 count-week species, compared
with a high of 76 count-day species in 2005. The number was down from the
64 count-day species last year and our 30-year average of 66 count-day
Total number of individual birds was only 9,134, the lowest count since the
circle was moved to its current location in 1987, although counts in the
old circle location were lower. This low count follows last year's record
high of 95,044, which was due largely to an amazing 84,500 Snow Geese
observed in Point Au Roche, NY. Low counts can be attributed partly to
early ice in many of the bays, and light to heavy rain in the morning and
light rain or snow in some areas in the afternoon, combined with icy roads,
especially in the morning.
Here are a few highlights:
Bald Eagle – 9 New high count; previous high was 8
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 7 New high count; previous high was 5 in 2015
American Robin – 569 New high count; previous high was 530 in
European Starling – 872 New low count; previous low was 992 in
White-throated Sparrow – 11 New high count; previous high was 8 in 2014
Dark-eyed Junco – 365 New high count; previous high was 299 in
We had just 2 rare misses:
Horned Grebe Seen in 27 previous counts
Eastern Screech Owl Seen in 26 previous counts
The above statistics are based on 30 years of data in our circle's present
location. Four earlier years (1983 to 1986) when the circle was located
slightly to the north were excluded. Counts were generally very low in
those first few years compared with later counts.
Thanks to all who participated!