It is nice to think that sighting from daily dawgwalking (or from sipping coffee on the patio) could help the good folks at Audubon and the Cornell Lab or Ornithology keep tabs on bird populations throughout the year.
Although some checklists will continue to trickle in through the end of February, most of the GBBC stats are set, and they are pretty interesting to ponder. Here are some in the GBBC eNewsletter:
Bird checklists came in from participants in 131 countries, a nice increase over last year's 110 and indeed a new record.
|Stork-billed Kingfisher, Spotted in Borneo|
The species making the greatest number of appearances on checklists was the Northern Cardinal (53,540) closely followed by the Dark-eyed Junco, and then the Mourning Dove, Blue Jay, Downy Woodpecker, American Goldfinch, American Crow, House Finch, Tufted Titmouse, and Black-capped Chicakdee.
I have to say that the bright-red daddy Cardinal peeking from my green cedars at my main bird feeder is right up there with the prettiest sights in my backyard.
The most numerous species (in terms of individuals spotted) made for a quite different list, topped by the Red-winged Blackbird (1.6 million), followed by the Snow Goose, Canada Goose, European Starling, Mallard, Ring-billed Gull, American Coot, Dark-eyed Junco, American Crow, and American Goldfinch.
|Red-winged Blackbird, a Frequent Visitor|
As reported here the other day, one of the most fascinating findings was a "massive irruption" of Snowy Owls into the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes states of the USA, along with southeastern Canada. So far, GBBC participants have logged more than 2,500 Snowy Owls in 25 states and seven Canadian provinces.)
The frigid conditions associated with the Polar Vortex also had an effect, with unusual movements of waterfowl and grebes reported. As the aNewsletter noted: "With the Great Lakes almost completely frozen, some species, such as the White-winged Scoter and the Long-tailed Duck, have fled the frozen lakes and stopped at inland locations where they are not usually found at this time of year."
Smart birds! We'll keep the feeder full for you and continue counting.
© Robert G. Holland 2014