Christmas Bird Count 2018

26 volunteers counted 50 species (total 23,683 birds) on count day with an additional 2 species during count week. The windy and warm weather were factors in the lower count numbers. When the river is partly frozen, duck species bunch together in open areas which means easier counting. The gusty winds Great Falls had over several days can result in birds holding tight rather than flying in the wind. However, bird feeder watchers may not notice a difference in their numbers as feeders are usually placed in somewhat protected areas. On the annual Christmas Bird Count Day, we wish folks with feeders would consider reporting their findings to us or perhaps allow us to observe their feeder that day.

In spite of the wind, we enjoyed the day scouting for the birds which call the Great Falls area home in December! Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon (UMBA)Chapter welcomes new folks with or without birding experience. Please consider joining the count next December!

Following is the list of observed species and numbers. (cw= count week, not count day)

Cackling Goose  1                         Northern Flicker(unknown species) 22
Canada Goose 18,686                Northern Red-shafted Flicker  19            
American Wigeon 2                    Black-billed Magpie  207
Mallard  313                                   American Crow  8
Redhead  10                                  Common Raven  8
Ring-necked Duck  1                  Horned Lark  27
Lesser Scaup  6                           Black-capped Chickadee  271
Bufflehead  66                             Red-breasted Nuthatch  5
Common Goldeneye  270         Brown Creeper  1
Barrow’s Goldeneye  20           American Dipper  1
Hooded Merganser  13             American Robin  16
Common Merganser  10          European Starling  1209
Ring-necked Pheasant 25       Cedar Waxwing  7
Wild Turkey  39                         American Tree Sparrow  30
Pied-billed Grebe 1                    Song Sparrow  1
American White Pelican 3     Dark-eyed(Oregon) Junco  15
Double-crested Cormorant  cw  Dark-eyed(Slate) Junco  5
Bald Eagle  26                             House Finch  242
Northern Harrier  2                 House Sparrow  818
Sharp-shinned Hawk  3          Tundra Swan 1
Cooper’s Hawk  1                       Blue Jay  2
Red-tailed Hawk  8
Rough-legged Hawk 20
Golden Eagle 4
Merlin  5
Prairie Falcon  1
American Coot  165
Killdeer  cw
Ring-billed Gull  1
Rock Pigeon 850
Eurasian-collared Dove 252
Great Horned Owl  3
Belted Kingfisher  1
Downy Woodpecker 9

Leave a Comment