[Ontbirds] 2019 Toronto Christmas Bird Count results

Emily Rondel erondel at gmail.com
Mon Dec 16 21:02:51 EST 2019


The 2019 Toronto Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday December 15th. We
had clear but windy conditions for our count, and extremely icy trails
posed a challenge to the 121 field observers who braved the outdoors. Our 7
feeder watching teams might have had a slightly easier time!

Similar to other counts this weekend, we had very low overall numbers of
birds at 23,817 individuals, (for context, our highest count was 70,912 in
1998), but the count managed decent diversity at 82 species (our highest
ever count was 100 species in both 2012 and 2013).

The bird of the day was a single Dunlin seen at Tommy Thompson Park, and a
first record for our CBC circle.  A number of other unusual sightings
included a Turkey Vulture over Humber Bay (recorded on 2 previous counts), a
 Purple Sandpiper at Tommy Thompson (recorded on 3 previous counts), 2 Lesser
Black-backed Gulls (seen on 5 other counts), and a Swainson's Thrush at
Earl Bales (recorded on 2 previous counts).

Record highs of Trumpeter Swan (50 individuals) and Red-bellied Woodpecker
(15 individuals) were expected given the general increase of these two
species locally, but unusually high numbers of American Wigeon (37
individuals, highest count since 2008) are a little harder to explain,
especially when paired with an unusually low count of Gadwall (121
individuals, lowest count since 1979).  Waterfowl numbers were generally
lower than normal, but no regularly seen species were missing altogether.

A few notable misses on our count include Glaucous Gull (seen in 51 prior
years), Northern Flicker (seen in 66 prior years), Northern Shrike (seen in
63 prior years), and Cedar Waxwing (seen in 59 prior years).

Thanks to everyone who counted, with a special shout out to the Toronto
Ornithological Club Records Committee (Ivor Williams, Amanda Guercio, Garth
Riley, Howard Shapiro, and Mark Field) and our roundup host Ange Brooks!

 Emily Rondel
Toronto Ornithological Club- Records Councillor


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