2008 Christmas Bird Count RESULTS  


The 2008 Seattle Audubon Christmas Bird Count, December 27
by Gene Hunn, Master Birder and CBC List Compiler

The first Seattle Christmas Bird Count (CBC) was organized in 1908, so this year inaugurates our second century! A few years were missed early on and during the world wars, but since 1972 our count has been conducted according to a consistent plan. The Seattle CBC circle is centered in Pioneer Square and encompasses a variety of terrestrial and aquatic habitats within a 7.5-mile radius. Our circle has been divided into 14 major sectors, that this year, were surveyed by 33 separate parties, including 141 field observers plus seven at feeders.

Last year over 200 observers participated, but the very difficult weather during the two weeks leading up to the 2008 count discouraged wider participation, though count day defied the forecasts for rain and was a pleasant, calm, cool, overcast day. We tallied 122 species, one above our recent average, with five additional "count week" species that eluded us on count day, and a total of 48,992 individual birds. As usual, our most numerous species were American Crows (13,799 with 6,000 estimated at the winter roost in Newport), American Robins (3,194), European Starlings (2,976), American Wigeons (2,504), Rock Pigeons (2,396), American Coots (1,574), and Glaucous-winged Gulls (1,401, plus 260 "Olympic Gull" hybrids and 289 unspecified "gull sp." which were most likely predominantly Glaucous-winged).

At the opposite extreme, we were fortunate to locate single Virginia Rails and Rock Sandpipers at Restoration Point at the western edge of our circle, a single Barn Owl at Sand Point, and single Bonaparte's Gulls, Orange-crowned Warblers, Northern Shrikes, and Ring-necked Pheasants at Discovery Park.

The cold snap likely explains the Snow Geese and Trumpeter Swans, which normally winter in farm country a bit farther north. We recorded a record 26 Red-breasted Sapsuckers (plus two Red-naped Sapsuckers and count week Mountain Chickadees), likely forced out of the foothills by the heavy snow.

Less readily accounted for were the notably high counts for such species as American Pipit (44) and shorebirds such as Killdeer (133), Spotted Sandpipers (7), and Wilson's Snipes (29). On the other hand, continuing sharp declines in wintering salt water species—Western Grebe (433) at just 35% of the decadal average, and White-winged (5) and Black Scoters (NONE)—highlight threats to the Puget Sound ecosystem. More positive are the totals for Bald Eagles (54), Merlins (13), and Peregrine Falcons (7).

 
FULL SPECIES LIST:

Greater White-fronted Goose 4; Snow Goose 12; Brant 16; Cackling Goose 4; Canada Goose 910; Trumpeter Swan 86; Wood Duck 5; Gadwall 719; Eurasian Wigeon 9; American Wigeon 2504; Eurasian x American Wigeon 2; Mallard 1173; Cinnamon Teal 3; Northern Shoveler 46; Northern Pintail 32; Green-winged Teal  110; Canvasback 261; Ring-necked Duck 637; Greater Scaup 201; Lesser Scaup 355; scaup sp. 108; Harlequin Duck 60; Surf Scoter 469; White-winged Scoter 5; scoter sp. 6; Bufflehead 783; Common Goldeneye 393; Barrow's Goldeneye 231; goldeneye sp. 2; Hooded Merganser 112; Common Merganser 294; Red-breasted Merganser 199; Ruddy Duck 13; Ring-necked Pheasant 1; Red-throated Loon 22; Pacific Loon 9; Common Loon 7; loon sp. 4; Pied-billed Grebe 141; Horned Grebe 201; Red-necked Grebe 104; Eared Grebe 4; Western Grebe 477; Brandt's Cormorant 287; Double-crested Cormorant 513; Pelagic Cormorant 15; cormorant sp. 13; Great Blue Heron 38; Bald Eagle 54; Bald Eagle adult [43]; Bald Eagle immature [10]; Bald Eagle unspecified [1]; Northern Harrier cw; Sharp-shinned Hawk 19; Cooper's Hawk 22; Accipiter sp. 2; Red-tailed Hawk 27; Merlin 13; Peregrine Falcon 7; Virginia Rail 1; American Coot 1574; Killdeer 133; Spotted Sandpiper 7; Black Turnstone 127; Surfbird 70; Sanderling 5; sandpiper sp. 1; Rock Sandpiper 1; Dunlin 21; Wilson's Snipe 29; Bonaparte's Gull 1; Mew Gull 1360; Ring-billed Gull 173; Western Gull 5; Western x Glaucous-winged Gull 260; California Gull 28; Herring Gull 4; Thayer's Gull 2; Glaucous-winged Gull 1401; gull sp. 289; Common Murre 23; Pigeon Guillemot 19; Rhinoceros Auklet 21; alcid sp. 2; Rock Pigeon 2396; Band-tailed Pigeon 15; Barn Owl 1; Western Screech-Owl 2; Barred Owl  3; Anna's Hummingbird 107; Belted Kingfisher 20; Red-naped Sapsucker 2; Red-breasted Sapsucker 26; Downy Woodpecker 37; Hairy Woodpecker 2; Northern Flicker 220; Northern (Red-shafted) [218]; Northern (Yellow-shafted) [2]; Pileated Woodpecker 5; Northern Shrike 1; Hutton's Vireo 5; Steller's Jay 130; Western Scrub-Jay 3; American Crow 13799; Common Raven cw; Black-capped Chickadee 1440; Mountain Chickadee cw; Chestnut-backed Chickadee 159; Bushtit 1132; Red-breasted Nuthatch 52; Brown Creeper 40; Bewick's Wren 264; House Wren 1; Winter Wren 107; Marsh Wren 3; Golden-crowned Kinglet 628; Ruby-crowned Kinglet 360; Hermit Thrush 7; American Robin 3194; Varied Thrush 94; European Starling 2976; American Pipit 44; Cedar Waxwing 76; Orange-crowned Warbler 1; Yellow-rumped Warbler 148; Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) [98]; Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) [6]; Yellow-rumped unspecified [44]; Townsend's Warbler 34; Spotted Towhee 174; Fox Sparrow 119; Song Sparrow 534; Lincoln's Sparrow 9; White-crowned Sparrow 17; Golden-crowned Sparrow 148; Dark-eyed Junco 692; Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco [9]; Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco [683]; Red-winged Blackbird 100; Western Meadowlark 2; Brown-headed Cowbird 1; Purple Finch 9; House Finch 662; Carpodacus sp. 3; Pine Siskin 917; American Goldfinch 403; House Sparrow 368

Number of Individuals 48992; Number of Species 122; count week 3; miles on foot 116.5; miles by car 307.7; miles by boat 34; total miles 458.2; hours on foot 153.02; hours by car 41.5; hours by boat 6; total hours 200.52; miles owling 3.2; hours owling 5.3; observers 141; feeder watchers 7; parties 34; paid $697.50.

Compiler: Eugene Hunn.

 

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