Christmas Bird Count 2020 Update


The MPFN Christmas Bird Count Coordinator Dave Schandlen is busy recruiting volunteers for this event again this year. The event will be held on Sat. Dec. 19, 2020 with some modifications from our usual practices due to Covid 19. Carpooling may not be possible unless it’s with people who are already bubbled (husbands, wives, family members, etc.). David will appoint a section leader for each division of our count circle. This leader will then coordinate with their volunteers how best to cover the area. This may mean dividing the section up into even smaller sections that individuals can cover rather than working as a larger team. It may mean doing more counting on foot, hitting a few prime birding spots and not necessarily trying to cover the whole area. Whatever we can do to maintain the continuity of this important citizen science event will be worthwhile.

Those wishing to volunteer for the count should contact Dave Schandlen
It may not be possible to hold our usual Xmas potluck after the Count. Right now the Wye Marsh is restricting indoor gatherings in their building to no more than 10 people. They will let us know if that changes, but alternatively we are looking at perhaps doing a Count wrap-up on Zoom. It may even be possible to do some sort of virtual mystery gift auction. Stay tuned for updated info.

Check back often as we finalize details for this popular annual event!

The results of our 2019 Christmas Bird Count are in!
Congratulations to all the participants who did a great job in somewhat challenging conditions.  Our species totals and individual bird totals were about on average and we tied our previous High Count for Coopers Hawks (3) and set new High Count records for Red-Headed Woodpeckers (4; previous High Count 2), Barred Owls (2; previous High Count 1) and Rock Doves (Pigeons; 672; previous High Count 650).  Woo Hoo!
To top it all off our members who braved the wintry conditions to attend the Potluck Wrap-up at the Wye Marsh raised $300 for the Owl Foundation of Vineland through our famous Mystery Gift Not-So-Silent Auction. Well done!
Also many thanks to our long time CBC coordinator David Schandlen for putting another great CBC into the books.  Attached to this message is David’s compilation of this year’s results with some comparison figures from previous year’s counts.  Here’s David’s report on the event:

120th Audubon Christmas Bird Count

December 14, 2019

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is the oldest and largest citizen science program in the world.  It provides valuable information on population dynamics and trends for hundreds of North American bird species that are frequently encountered on count day.

On Saturday, December 14, 2019 the count was held in our area. The Midland Penetanguishene Field Naturalist Club organizes the count with 35 volunteers divided up into 10 areas.

These areas, which are consistent from year to year world wide, are in a circle with a 15 mile radius. Wyebridge is the centre of our count circle. This area encompasses the Wye Marsh and Tiny Marsh.

This day was partly overcast and ranged from -1/+2C.  It began snowing around 10:00AM and continued for a lot of the day. The wind was fairly calm and Georgian Bay was open.

The day was successful with 50 different species seen with a total count of 3,349 individual birds. .   

After the count the group gathered at the Wye Marsh for a pot luck dinner and a report on their findings. The gift auction capped off the evening with lots of laughter and $300 raised for the McKeever Owl Foundation.

Thanks again to all who took part. Mark your calendars for next year Saturday December 19, 2020.

Dave Schandlen

Midland Penetanguishene Field Naturalist Club

Results of 2019 Christmas Bird Count

Species Number
Canada Goose 6
Trumpeter Swan 17
American Black Duck 15
Mallard 159
Ring-necked Duck 1
Bufflehead 1
Common Goldeneye 5
Barrow’s Goldeneye 5
Common Merganser 413
Ring-necked Pheasant 1
Ruffed Grouse 5
Wild Turkey 91
Cooper’s Hawk 3
Bald Eagle 1
Red-tailed Hawk 4
Rough-legged Hawk 1
Ring-billed Gull 11
Herring Gull 8
gull sp. 11
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 672
Mourning Dove 256
Snowy Owl 1
Barred Owl 2
Red-headed Woodpecker 4
Red-bellied Woodpecker 8
Downy Woodpecker 29
Hairy Woodpecker 26
Pileated Woodpecker 3
Northern Shrike 2
Blue Jay 263
American Crow 102
Common Raven 7
Black-capped Chickadee 486
Red-breasted Nuthatch 15
White-breasted Nuthatch 31
Brown Creeper 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3
American Robin 1
European Starling 451
Bohemian Waxwing 25
Cedar Waxwing 1
Snow Bunting 7
American Tree Sparrow 17
Dark-eyed Junco 62
Northern Cardinal 19
House Finch 2
Common Redpoll 2
American Goldfinch 78
Evening Grosbeak 11
House Sparrow 2
Total Individuals 3349
Total Species Reported 50