We had heavy snowfall starting in the evening on the 15th and continuing
into the morning on count day Saturday Dec 17, leaving over 35 cm of snow.
Despite that, it became a beautiful winter day with temperatures around
zero, no wind and a hint of sunshine. Rivers were partially frozen, some
ponds had a bit of open water and the road conditions were good.
The 48 participants travelled a total of 848 km spending a total of 133
58 species were counted on count day and another staggering 11 species were
added during count week raising the total to 69 species, a record high for
15.877 individual birds were counted on count day vs a high of 19.258 in
The ONRI species list now stands at 81 species, 87 species when including
Count day produced 3 first records: Lesser Scaup, Carolina Wren and a
Hermit Thrush. Lesser BB Gull, Northern Harrier and Red-bellied Woodpecker
were also firsts on count day, having previously been seen only during
And three more regionally rare species were found for the first time during
count week: Northern Shoveler, American Three-toed Woodpecker, and Northern
14 record high counts were set this year and the 5 most noteworthy species
that shattered previous records by a wide margin were:
87 Horned Larks (vs a previous high of just 5), 745 Herring Gulls (vs 191),
6.950 European Starlings (vs 2,173), 13 Iceland Gulls (vs 2), and 12
Cooper’s Hawks (vs 6).
On the low side, just 6 owls of 3 species were found this year, versus 21
owls of 5 species last year.
Count organizers Nina Stavlund, Tony Beck & Pete Blancher thank Derek
Dunnett, Tobi Kiesewalter, Erik Pohanka & Alexis Williams for their
leadership in ONRI sectors.
Thanks also goes to Janet Clark for hosting the compilation.
ONCD covers much of Caledon as well as parts of Orangeville and Erin. This is the 31st count, beginning in 1987 with a few missing years.
The bird count was on Dec 28, a calm day after a week of bitter cold, snow and howling winds. The temperature was from -2 to +3. Unfortunately water ways were frozen from the prior cold spell.
We had 48 species which is the best since 2005 (average 39.4 the last five years). Our total count of 3135 is the lowest since 2013 (average 3760 the last five years). The lack of open water really brought down our count of geese and ducks.
Black Duck – 28; prev 14 (2018)
Bald Eagle – 4; prev 2 (2018)
Barred Owl – 1; tied 2021
Common Raven – 19; prev 14 (2016, 2019)
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 38; prev 32 (2018)
Eastern Bluebird – 12; prev 5 (2021). Prior to that there were no sightings.
White-throated Sparrow – 4; tied 2002
Evening Grosbeaks were not a record number, but were the first since 2012 and before that 2007. The record is 393 in 1990.
There was a large flock of Snow Buntings (greater than 500 based on photographs), and a flock of 36 Bohemian Waxwings.
Notable miss: Ruffed Grouse