2010 Christmas Bird Count RESULTS  

January 1, 2011

127 species tallied (count day + count week)

Count day: 121 species
Count week: additional 6 species
Individual birds: 45,627 birds
Observers: 164
 
Seattle CBC Compiler: Matt Bartels

Overall, participation and the total number of birds observed was down a bit from recent years. Our recent average has been about 121 species, a level we reached this year. Our individual bird average is about 10% higher than the total counted this year. The Seattle CBC circle is centered on Pioneer Square, with a 7.5-mile radius. From before dawn until dusk, CBC participants cover the circle by dividing into 14 sectors, 24 subsectors and about 40 parties, with a few feeder watchers added in for good measure.

Count week birds not tallied on count day included arguably the bird of the count:
Thick-billed Murre observed off West Point in Discovery Park on January 4. Not only was this the first appearance of Thick-billed Murre on the Seattle CBC, it was also the first record for this arctic species in King County! In addition, Tundra Swans, Northern Pintails, Barn Owl, Townsend's Solitaire and Cedar Waxwing were all  'count week only' species that eluded us on January 1.
 
Notable misses for the day included Redhead, Marbled Murrelet, Brewer's Blackbird and Red Crossbill. None of these are ever expected birds, but all are possible in any given year depending on our luck. Perhaps most notable in his absence this year was long-time CBC compiler, Gene Hunn, who moved away and handed over the reins this year.
 
Several species were seen in all-time high numbers, including several saltwater species:
Brant continued their upward trend, with 280 setting a new record. A count of 101 Harlequin Ducks was also a new high; 431 Common Goldeneye, 53 Red-throated Loons, 22 Common Loons and 67 Pigeon Guillemots also all were new high counts.
 
Observers saw 11 Heerman's Gulls, a species that has only been recorded once before in the Seattle CBC. This species practices a post-breeding northerly migration into the Puget Sound every fall, but traditionally departs to the south by December. It is too early to know whether this year was an anomaly, or if wintering Heerman’s Gulls are going to become a normal part of our Seattle CBCs.
 
Moving away from the water, a count of 5 White-throated Sparrows blew away the old high of 2. Participants also recorded record highs also for Barred Owls (10), Hairy Woodpecker (7), Steller's Jay (263), Red-breasted Nuthatch (159), Hermit Thrush (20) and Dark-eyed Junco (1212) - just listing them feels like a walk through Discovery Park!
 
On the other end of the spectrum, several species continued their long decline:
 
On the water, American Coots, with 1539 counted, reached a new low, down from a peak in 1994 of over 16,000 and a 1990s average of around 7000. One Ring-necked Pheasant near Seward Park and three California Quail seen at a feeder represented their species precarious persistence in Seattle.  
 
Northern Pintail (count-week only this year, down from an average of 269), Redhead (0 this year), White-winged Scoters (4, compared to an average of 73) and Ruddy Duck (6, compared to an average of 417) are all down far enough to be essentially gone from the circle.
 
American Crows were also way down -- perhaps a reflection of the big roost sites moving out of the circle proper -- This year 9119 crows were tallied, still above the long-term average but notable down by over 9000 from last year!
 
Finches in general were down in their numbers this year -- only 4 Purple Finch along with 4 Evening Grosbeak continued their recent low numbers in Seattle. Pine Siskin, at 126, are at only 11% of the historical average, but their numbers seem more randomly distributed. Rounding out our finches, House Finch were down a little, and American Goldfinch continued an upward trend.
 
Finally, the trends for raptors looked largely steady: Bald Eagles were down from last year, but still trending upwards (61 reported), Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, Peregrine Falcons & Merlins were all close to recent levels, with Sharp-shinned Hawks down a bit (9 versus an average of 14).
 
Thanks to all the hearty CBCers who participated.

Participants: 164; Feeder Watchers: 2; Miles on Foot: 103.5; Miles by Car: 339.9; Miles by Boat: 38.0; TOTAL MILES: 481.4; Hours on Foot: 136.6; Hours by Car: 45.1; Hours by Boat: 8.0; Hours Owling: 9.5; TOTAL HOURS: 199.2

 

Greater White-fronted Goose (2)
Brant (280)
Cackling Goose (4)
Canada Goose (733)
Trumpeter Swan (11)
Tundra Swan (CW)
Wood Duck (24)
Gadwall (626)
Eurasian Wigeon (9)
American Wigeon (2072)
Eurasian x American Wigeon (1)
Mallard (1502)
Northern Shoveler (143)
Northern Pintail (CW)
Green-winged Teal  (148)
Canvasback (92)
Ring-necked Duck (274)
Greater Scaup (332)
Lesser Scaup (193)
scaup sp. (139)
Harlequin Duck (101)
Surf Scoter (948)
White-winged Scoter (4)
Black Scoter (27)
Bufflehead (868)
Common Goldeneye (431)
Barrow's Goldeneye (349)
Hooded Merganser (102)
Common Merganser (294)
Red-breasted Merganser (232)
Ruddy Duck (6)

Ring-necked Pheasant (1)
California Quail (3)

Red-throated Loon (53)
Pacific Loon (20)
Common Loon (22)
loon sp. (6)

Pied-billed Grebe (178)
Horned Grebe (287)
Red-necked Grebe (134)
Eared Grebe (2)
Western Grebe (1050)

Brandt's Cormorant (115)
Double-crested Cormorant (871)
Pelagic Cormorant (38)

Great Blue Heron (47)

Bald Eagle (61)
    (adult (50))
    (imm. (9))
    (un-aged (2))
Sharp-shinned Hawk (9)
Cooper's Hawk (25)
Accipiter sp. (1)
Red-tailed Hawk (45)
Merlin (4)
Peregrine Falcon (8)
hawk sp. (1)

Virginia Rail (9)
American Coot (1539)

Killdeer (114)
Spotted Sandpiper (3)
Greater Yellowlegs (1)
Black Turnstone (77)
Surfbird (64)
Sanderling (16)
sandpiper sp. (1)
Rock Sandpiper (1)
Dunlin (19)
Wilson's Snipe (6)

Bonaparte's Gull (2)
Heermann's Gull (11)
Mew Gull (1643)
Ring-billed Gull (156)
Western Gull (11)
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (248)
California Gull (10)
Herring Gull (3)
Thayer's Gull (9)
Glaucous-winged Gull (1848)
gull sp. (687)

Common Murre (20)
Thick-billed Murre (CW)
Pigeon Guillemot (67)

Rhinoceros Auklet (61)
alcid sp. (1)

Rock Pigeon (2365)
Band-tailed Pigeon (38)

Barn Owl (CW)
Western Screech-Owl (5)
Barred Owl  (10)
Northern Saw-whet Owl (1)

Anna's Hummingbird (122)

Belted Kingfisher (24)

Red-breasted Sapsucker (16)
Downy Woodpecker (59)
Hairy Woodpecker (7)
Northern Flicker (326)
Pileated Woodpecker (9)

Northern Shrike (1)

Hutton's Vireo (1)

Steller's Jay (263)
Western Scrub-Jay (10)
American Crow (9119)
Common Raven (1)

Black-capped Chickadee (1809)
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (279)

Bushtit (976)

Red-breasted Nuthatch (159)

Brown Creeper (41)

Bewick's Wren (241)
Pacific Wren (173)
Marsh Wren (3)

Golden-crowned Kinglet (1010)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (281)

Townsend's Solitaire (CW)
Hermit Thrush (20)

American Robin (2086)
Varied Thrush (133)

European Starling (1602)

Cedar Waxwing (CW)

Orange-crowned Warbler (4)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (142)
    (Audubon’s (36))
    (Myrtle’s (15))
    (unspecified (91))
Townsend's Warbler (27)

Spotted Towhee (295)
Fox Sparrow (134)
Song Sparrow (784)
Lincoln's Sparrow (14)
White-throated Sparrow (5)
White-crowned Sparrow (50)
Golden-crowned Sparrow (197)
Dark-eyed Junco (1212)
    (Slate-colored (6))

Red-winged Blackbird (124)
Western Meadowlark (2)

Purple Finch (4)
House Finch (583)
Pine Siskin (126)
American Goldfinch (548)
Evening Grosbeak (4)

House Sparrow (627)

 

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