Christmas Bird Count 2019

(above – Sarah and Jaye take a closer look at a Great Horned Owl at Giant Springs State Park during “count day”-photo-Beth Hill)

Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon 2019 Christmas Bird Count is in the books. It was UMBA’s 47th Christmas Bird Count and the 120th National Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC).

The count takes place in many parts of the world between December 14 and January 5. Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon’s 2019 CBC occurred December 21. UMBA first participated in 1911, then 1918, 1954-1960. UMBA has held annual CBCs since 1981. This year 34 participants counted 32,485 birds and 54 species. In 2017, 34 folks counted 25,692 birds/66 species; in 2018, 30 folks counted 23,683 birds/50 species. The weather this year was balmy (42 F-59F) and WINDY (37mph peak at 1 PM). We think the wind kept the song bird count down. Since the weather was warm for several days, the passerines (the songbirds) were probably able to foraging out of sight without having to fly in such high winds. We hope you will join us next year for the CBC. It really is a fun day and dinner together!

Our bird list follows: (CW = seen during count week but not on count day)

Snow Goose 12; Cackling Goose 624; Canada Goose 24,240; American Wigeon 18; Mallard 2170; Canvasback 2; Redhead 57; Ring-necked Duck 17; Lesser Scaup 7; Bufflehead 192; Common Goldeneye 1382; Barrow’s Goldeneye 21; Hooded Merganser 1; Common Merganser 20; Ring-necked Pheasant 11; Wild Turkey 46; Sharp-tailed Grouse CW; Pied-billed Grebe – CW; Double-crested Cormorant –CW; Bald Eagle 25; No. Harrier 1; Sharp-shinned Hawk 1; Northern Goshawk 2; Cooper’s Hawk 2; Red-tailed Hawk 9; Harlan’s Hawk(red-tail) 1; Rough-legged Hawk 15; Golden Eagle 10; Merlin 1; Prairie Falcon CW; Peregrine Falcon 1; American Coot 160; Rock Pigeon 380; Eurasian-collared Dove 227; Mourning Dove 5; Great Horned Owl 2; Belted Kingfisher 2; Downy Woodpecker 21; Hairy Woodpecker –CW; Northern Red-shafted Flicker 14; Northern Shrike 1; Blue Jay 14; Black-billed Magpie 220; American Crow 20; Common Raven 18; Horned lark 8; Black-capped Chickadee 186; Mountain Chickadee 1; Red-breasted Nuthatch 10; White-breasted Nuthatch 2; Brown Creeper 2; Townsend’s Solitaire 3; American Robin 3; European Starling 664; Bohemian Waxwing – CW; Red-winged Blackbird 1; Common Grackle 1; House Finch 204; House Sparrow 1437.


This Northern Goshawk surprised everyone when he swooped into Giant Springs Park – and stayed put in an ash tree long enough for the entire group of 6 could get good looks. Photo-Beth Hill[

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