Results of the St. Clair National Wildlife Area CBC

allen.woodliffe at mnr.gov.on.ca allen.woodliffe at mnr.gov.on.ca
Wed Jan 9 17:49:24 EST 2002


ONTbirders:

The 22nd St. Clair National Wildlife Area Christmas Bird Count was held on
January 5, 2002. Eighteen observers recorded 73 species over the course of
the day, our third highest total but significantly lower than our record of
82 in 1999.  Our average for the last ten years is 69 species. Total
individuals for the day was 46881.

A reasonable amount of open water makes all the difference in this area,
since there is very little natural area other than wetland. The mild winter
to date allowed us to record 21 species of waterfowl, plus 5 other wetland
bird species. New or tied high totals were made for an astounding 25 species
(34%) some of which are (previous high in brackets):
Pied-billed Grebe-11 (3)
Mute Swan-169 (8)
Gadwall-17 (5)
American Wigeon-9 (4)
Mallard-24,739 (19,518)
Northern Shoveler-32 (7)
Green-winged Teal-7 (5)
Canvasback-2,400 (358)
Ring-necked Duck-8 (3)
Ruddy Duck-20 (10)
American Coot-226 (29)
Red-bellied Woodpecker-10 (8)
Downy Woodpecker-141 (111)
Dark-eyed Junco-410 (282)
Northern Cardinal-325 (233)

Other highlights included 2 new species for the count, Sandhill Crane (1)
and Merlin (CW), bringing the total number of species recorded since 1981 to
122. Also we had our second ever Turkey Vulture, and third ever Hermit
Thrush. Count Week species included Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted
Merganser, Red-shouldered Hawk, Ring-necked Pheasant and Merlin. 

Another notable number was the 'only' 3414 American Crows, still higher than
most Ontario CBCs, but significantly lower than the almost 70,000 birds we
averaged for the 10 year period prior to the municipality of Chatham-Kent
employing a bird control company to disperse the birds elsewhere.

Allen Woodliffe

allen.woodliffe at mnr.gov.on.ca



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