[Ontbirds]Results of the St. Clair National Wildlife Area CBC

Woodliffe, Allen (MNR) allen.woodliffe at mnr.gov.on.ca
Wed Jan 4 20:40:38 EST 2006

The 26th St. Clair National Wildlife Area CBC was held on January 2,
2006. This count is centered just southeast of the NWA and includes a
significant portion of the Lake St. Clair marshes between the mouth of
the Thames River and Mitchell's Bay. It also includes the northwest edge
of Chatham.


The temperature was above freezing all day, but the east winds ranging
from 20-45+ km/hr and the periodic rain throughout the day made
conditions much less than ideal. Nevertheless, the 20 participants
recorded 84 species, our second highest total ever. Nineteen species of
waterfowl, five species of gull and six species of owl contributed in a
major way. A total of 87910 individual birds was observed.


There were two new species for this count: Northern Saw-whet Owl and
Barn Owl (see note below), bringing the cumulative total for the CBC to
131 species.


New high totals were recorded for 8 species (previous high in brackets):

Bufflehead-25 (7)

Common Goldeneye-479 (135)

Sharp-shinned Hawk-19 (9)

Rock Pigeon-977 (803)

Long-eared Owl-11 (2)

Black-capped Chickadee-173 (157)

Northern Mockingbird-2 (1)

Brown-headed Cowbird-9552 (3475)


Tied high totals were recorded for 7 species:

Turkey Vulture-1

Red-shouldered Hawk-2

Peregrine Falcon-1

Lesser Black-backed Gull-1

Short-eared Owl-1

Northern Flicker-9

Tufted Titmouse-1


Other notable species included:

Virginia Rail-1

American Crow-35000

Brewer's Blackbird--4




The identity of this bird was 100% reliable. However it was seen along a
relatively nondescript roadside. Contrary to some reports that are
circulating about this bird, it was not seen in association with any
roosting site or nest box. We do not know where this bird roosts. Two of
the most likely buildings have been checked with no positive results.
There are no other prime buildings within approximately two kilometers
of where this bird was observed. The grassy habitat here was not
extensive nor was there any significant crop residue in the adjacent
agricultural fields. Having said that, it was observed along a roadside
southeast of the St. Clair NWA, but due to the nature of the species'
behaviour, one roadside is probably as good as another. 


Please be advised that local landowners are not tolerant of trespassers.
Also, local species at risk specialists who are working towards the
recovery of this endangered species are concerned about any potential
harassment. If you intend to search for this bird, you are strongly
advised to search along the roadsides only. If you are successful in
observing this bird, please exercise extreme caution as is appropriate
for the observation of any endangered species. Also, please advise me
privately at the email address below. Any particulars of the observation
such as the date, time, location and activity of the bird would be
appreciated. Thank you.




P. Allen Woodliffe

District Ecologist

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Aylmer District

P. O. Box 1168

870 Richmond Street West

Chatham, ON

N7M 5L8


Tel. 519-354-4108

Fax. 519-354-0313


email: allen.woodliffe at mnr.gov.on.ca
<mailto:allen.woodliffe at mnr.gov.on.ca> 



"Dealing with species at risk instead of spaces at risk is like treating
a life-threatening disease with an aspirin" 




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