From Dan Jackson:
I am still waiting on a couple of reports from people who had indicated that they planned to help out with this yearís Christmas Bird Count. However, since it is newsletter deadline time and I havenít heard from them, this will be the published version of the count report.
At this point, we have reports of 11,244 birds of 51 species. These were counted by 86 participants who logged a total of 427.25 hours of counting time. Although the species count is somewhat low compared to prior years (due almost entirely to the lack of open water and therefore very few species of waterfowl and water birds), our count number is one of the highest in the last 20 years. If waterfowl were taken out of the previous counts with higher total numbers, this yearís count would be at least comparable with those counts. This is partially due to a very high level of participation although the counting conditions were also favorable. This yearís count is significantly higher than the counts of the past couple of years that had relatively similar numbers of volunteers and poorer counting conditions.
The most interesting birds found on this yearís count were a Golden Eagle, a Red-shouldered Hawk, and 2 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. As expected, the species with the highest counts were House Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Rock Pigeons, and European Starlings. Other sightings of note were 319 Robins, 101 Bald Eagles, and only 62 Red-tailed Hawks. Personally, my group only had a single Red-tailed Hawk in the Goose Island Count section. In recent years, I have seen as many as 15 in just that one area.
Once again, I would like to say thank you to everyone who helped out with this yearís count!! It was really great to have so many people who were willing to participate in this yearís count that took place on a cold December day!! I hope that all of the counters enjoyed their day as much as I did!!
I hope that everyone had Happy Holidays and that you all have a great and healthy New Year!!
Dan Jackson, President
Coulee Region Audubon Society
La Crosse, Wisconsin