Le Recensement des oiseaux de Noël, qui a vu le jour en 1900, est le plus ancien programme de science citoyenne d’Amérique du Nord. Il regroupe des participants dans plus de 2000 localités dans l’ensemble de l’hémisphère occidental.
Les renseignements recueillis par les milliers de participants bénévoles constituent un des plus importants ensembles de données d’inventaire faunique dans le monde. Des biologistes de la conservation et des naturalistes utilisent quotidiennement ces données pour évaluer les tendances des populations et la répartition des oiseaux.
Chaque recensement se déroule en une journée entre le 14 décembre et le 5 janvier. Il est réalisé dans un cercle de 24 kilomètres de diamètre, toujours le même d’une année à l’autre. Il se tient ordinairement en groupe à l’échelle locale, souvent par un club d’ornithologues amateurs ou de naturalistes.
Il est facile de participer!
- Trouvez un cercle de recensement près de chez vous et cliquez dessus pour connaître les coordonnées de la personne chargée de la compilation des données.
- Communiquez avec cette personne pour savoir comment participer.
- Comptez les oiseaux à la date de dénombrement fixée pour votre cercle, entre le 14 décembre et le 5 janvier. Vous pouvez même le faire depuis le confort de votre foyer!
Vous pouvez aider à faire le suivi et à assurer la conservation des oiseaux d’Amérique du Nord. Pour participer au Recensement des oiseaux de Noël, trouvez un cercle près de chez vous et communiquez avec le compilateur du cercle. Vous devrez être prêt(e) à réserver une partie ou la totalité de la journée prévue du recensement pour observer les oiseaux sur le terrain ou à une ou des mangeoires dans les limites du cercle. Les observateurs sur le terrain couvrent une partie de leur cercle seuls ou en petit groupe; ils comptent tous les oiseaux qu’ils voient ou entendent. Certains participants comptent les oiseaux à leur(s) mangeoire(s) pendant une partie de la journée.
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Résumé du 120e recensement des oiseaux de Noël, 2020-2021
sommaire pour le Canada
Par Yousif Attia, coordonnateur – Recensement des oiseaux de Noël, Oiseaux Canada
Pendant la 121e saison du Recensement des Oiseaux de Noël (RON) au Canada, des données nous sont provenues de 450 cercles de recensement, soit 19 de moins que la saison précédente. Un cercle a refait naissance à Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, après un hiatus de deux ans. Dans beaucoup de cas, aucun recensement n’a eu lieu en raison des restrictions imposées par la COVID‑19, mais les activités ont pu se dérouler dans la plupart des cercles de recensement, car des mesures de sécurité supplémentaires y ont été prises. Quatorze nouveaux cercles ont été enregistrés en 2020-2021 : Lacombe (AB), Ladysmith (BC), Hartland, Mount Carleton, New Jersey-Neguac, Nictau-Riley Brook, Perth-Andover, Plaster Rock, Red Bank-Sunny Corner, Southeast Upsalquitch, Springfield et Sussex (NB), et Val Marie (SK). Les cercles du Nouveau‑Brunswick existaient préalablement, mais n’avaient pas encore été enregistrés officiellement. Enfin, deux cercles déjà enregistrés qui étaient inactifs ont été réactivés, soit ceux de St. Andrews (NB) et de Torch Valley (SK).
Au total, 10 741 participants sur le terrain dans la nature et 4586 participants à des sites de mangeoires ont signalé un peu moins de 3,5 millions d’oiseaux de 284 espèces (tableau 1). C’est à Edmonton, en Alberta, qu’on a enregistré le plus grand nombre de participants (473) le jour officiel du RON; suivaient Victoria, en Colombie-Britannique, avec 319 et Calgary, en Alberta, avec 287. Les cinq cercles qui viennent en tête de liste quant au nombre d’espèces signalées sont les suivants : Victoria (143 espèces) et Ladner (128), en Colombie-Britannique; Halifax‑Dartmouth, en Nouvelle-Écosse (127); Parksville-Qualicum Beach, en Colombie-Britannique (123); et White Rock-Surrey-Langley, également en Colombie-Britannique (123).
La région atlantique (Nouveau-Brunswick, Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador, Nouvelle-Écosse, Île-du-Prince-Édouard et Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon) a bénéficié d’un automne relativement doux, suivi cependant d’une parfaite tempête de froid et de neige qui a concentré les oiseaux attardés. Le Québec est reconnu pour ses hivers froids mais, cette année-là, la première moitié de décembre a été l’une des plus douces jamais enregistrées. Même les provinces des Prairies ont signalé du temps doux et des conditions de recensement agréables pour au moins la première partie de la saison. Sans surprise, c’est dans le cercle le plus au nord, à Arctic Bay, au Nunavut, qu’on a enregistré le temps le plus froid pour le jour du 121e RON : la température a été de -37 oC pendant toute la durée du recensement.
Points saillants par région
Le tableau 1 présente un sommaire des statistiques des recensements pour l’ensemble des provinces et des territoires.
Voici la liste des 10 espèces les plus abondantes – en nombre d’individus signalés – dans l’ensemble des cercles de recensement du Canada pendant le 121e RON, dans l’ordre descendant : Bernache du Canada, Corneille d’Amérique, Étourneau sansonnet, Canard colvert, Mésange à tête noire, Moineau domestique, Oie des neiges, Tarin des pins, Pigeon biset (forme domestique) et Sizerin flammé. Le Grand Corbeau était l’espèce la plus répandue, détectée dans plus de cercles que toute autre espèce.
Une nouvelle espèce s’est ajoutée à la liste canadienne de tous les temps, qui compte maintenant 439 espèces, pendant la semaine du 121e recensement; il s’agit du Fuligule milouin (une femelle). Pour la quatrième année de suite, une Oie à bec court a fait son apparition à St. Johns, à Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador, le jour officiel du recensement. L’augmentation constante du nombre de Petites Buses dans la région est digne de mention, tout comme la présence de Tyrannus sp. (à ventre jaune) (Tyran mélancolique/de l’Ouest/de Couch) à Lunenberg et d’un Troglodyte des rochers à Halifax-Dartmouth, en Nouvelle-Écosse. L’irruption de Fringillidés qui s’est produite sur l’ensemble du continent s’est manifestée dans la région atlantique par l’augmentation du nombre de Sizerins flammés, de Durbecs des sapins et de Gros-becs errants. La même irruption s’est produite au Québec et en Ontario, où l’on a enregistré une hausse du nombre d’individus d’espèces venant du nord, telles que le Jaseur boréal et la Pie-grièche boréale. On a rapporté deux raretés notables à Otterburn Park, au Québec : l’Oie à bec court et l’Oriole de Bullock. En Ontario, un mâle de l’Oriole jaune-verdâtre, observé à Hanover-Walkerton, est un ajout coloré à la liste des espèces dignes d’intérêt dans cette province. À Pinawa, au Manitoba, une mangeoire a reçu la visite d’un Moqueur roux ainsi que d’une des trois Grives à collier signalées dans cette province. Les Laridés sont historiquement rares ou absents dans les prairies pendant les RON; c’est pourquoi les 32 Goélands argentés repérés au barrage de Gardiner témoignent du temps plus doux qui a précédé la saison. Comme dans l’Est, le nombre d’individus participant à l’irruption des Fringillidés dans le centre du pays était jusqu’à trois fois plus élevé que l’année précédente. En Alberta, la Grive à dos olive observée à Calgary était notable et une première en hiver. La diversité des Fringillidés qui ont fait irruption en 2020-2021 à l’ouest de la ligne de partage des eaux n’était pas aussi spectaculaire que plus à l’est; néanmoins, le Tarin des pins était la deuxième espèce la plus abondante en Colombie-Britannique. Parmi les nombreuses raretés qui se trouvaient dans cette province, le Fuligule milouin détecté pendant la semaine du recensement à Parksville-Qualicum Beach et le Moucherolle noir vu à Victoria étaient les plus remarquables.
Pendant le 121e RON, la diversité des espèces a augmenté dans tous les cercles de recensement par rapport à l’année précédente, sauf à Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador et au Yukon, où elle a diminué, et dans les Territoires du Nord-Ouest, où elle est demeurée stable. C’est en Colombie-Britannique qu’on a enregistré la plus grande diversité (224 espèces), puis en Ontario (177), en Nouvelle-Écosse (175), au Québec (146) et au Nouveau-Brunswick (142). Les sommaires régionaux détaillés du 121e RON seront présentés sur le site Web d’Audubon, où l’on peut d’ores et déjà trouver les données historiques ou de l’année courante par cercle de recensement ou par espèce.
Des remerciements particuliers sont adressés aux compilateurs, qui passent des heures à recruter des participants et à les répartir et les soutenir sur le terrain, ainsi qu’à réunir et entrer les données. Un grand merci également aux réviseurs régionaux, qui effectuent une validation minutieuse de toutes les données du RON chaque année.
Tableau 1. Sommaire de la 121e édition du Recensement des oiseaux de Noël
|Cercles de recensement||Nombre d’espèces1||Nombre d’individus||Nombre de participants dans la nature||Nombre de participants à des sites de mangeoires||Total le plus élevé du nombre d’espèces pour la 121e édition||Total le plus élevé du nombre d’espèces pour la 120e édition|
|AB||55||126||229 679||1329||884||Calgary (69)||Calgary (64)|
|BC||86||224||1 024 145||2828||719||Victoria (143)||Victoria (135)|
|MB||18||82||54 527||317||294||Winnipeg (49)||Brandon (43)|
|NB||43||142||144 409||567||357||Cape Tormentine (74)||Île Grand Manan (63)|
|NL||10||108||40 532||159||51||St. Johns (72)||St. Johns (67)|
|NS||32||175||251 138||710||316||Halifax-Dartmouth (127)||Halifax-Dartmouth (105)|
|NT||3||25||5488||45||14||Fort Smith (17)||Fort Smith (16)|
|NU||2||5||628||3||0||Arctic Bay (4)||Rankin Inlet (2)|
|ON||112||177||1 182 346||3233||1434||Long Point (115)||Blenheim (104)|
|PE||3||86||32 922||50||20||Parc nat. de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard (64)||Hillsborough (47)|
|QC||37||146||380 687||924||238||Québec (84)||Montréal (74)|
|SK||40||91||141 375||439||184||Saskatoon (44)||Gardiner Dam (45)|
|YT||9||38||7161||131||75||Whitehorse (28)||Whitehorse (27)|
|PM||1||51||6721||6||0||Île Saint-Pierre (51)||–|
|Total||451||284||3 501 758||10 741||4586|
- Inclut le nombre d’espèces détectées pendant la semaine du recensement.
Oiseaux Canada assure la gestion du Recensement des oiseaux de Noël au Canada avec son partenaire états-unien, la National Audubon Society.
2020/21 Canadian High Counts Article (en anglais)
During the 121st Christmas Bird Count (CBC) in Canada, counts reported 284 species, a decrease of five species from last year. Seven additional species, Common Pochard, Cattle Egret, Barn Swallow, American Redstart, Black-throated Green Warbler, Western Tanager, and Indigo Bunting were recorded only during count week. A yellow-bellied kingbird species (i.e., Western/Tropical/Couch’s), although not identified to species, is still a very rare bird on Canadian CBCs. The count week Common Pochard is new for the all-time Canadian species list, which now sits at 439 species.
Each of Canada’s ten provinces and all three territories recorded at least one species high count during the 121st CBC season. Counts in British Columbia (BC) recorded the most species high counts (153), followed by Ontario (92) and Nova Scotia (42). Victoria, BC, was the circle to achieve the most species high counts (43), followed by Ladner, BC (24), Long Point, ON (13), St. Johns, NL (11), and Toronto, ON (9). Twenty of the high counts during the 121st CBC season represent new all-time Canadian highs (numbers boldfaced). Fifty-two high counts are high counts not only for Canada, but all of North America (numbers italicized). Unestablished exotics and hybrids are excluded from this list.
Snow Goose 54,046 (QC, Otterburn Park); Ross’s Goose 2 (ON, Hamilton; QC, Otterburn Park); Greater White-fronted Goose 22 (BC, Chilliwack); Pink-footed Goose 1 (NL, St. Johns; QC, Otterburn Park); Brant 1081 (BC, Ladner); Cackling Goose 6153 (BC, Chilliwack); Canada Goose 61700 (SK, Estevan); Mute Swan 775 (ON, Presqu’ile P.P.); Trumpeter Swan 1078 (BC, Chilliwack); Tundra Swan 9347 (ON, Blenheim); Wood Duck 300 (BC, Victoria); Blue-winged Teal 1 (NS, St. Peters); Northern Shoveler 762 (BC, Ladner); Gadwall 820 (ON, Long Point); Eurasian Wigeon 79 (BC, Ladner); American Wigeon 17,228 (BC, Ladner); Mallard 11,635 (BC, Ladner); American Black Duck 1891 (NS, Wolfville); Northern Pintail 4971 (BC, Ladner); Green-winged Teal (Eurasian) 2 (NL, St. Johns); Green-winged Teal (American) 1454 (BC, Ladner); Canvasback 4645 (ON, Long Point); Redhead 19,740 (ON, Long Point); Ring-necked Duck 554 (BC, Duncan); Tufted Duck 52 (NL, St. Johns); Greater Scaup 6791 (BC, Ladner); Lesser Scaup 658 (BC, Duncan); King Eider 3 (ON, Peach Tree; QC, Tadoussac); Common Eider 1541 (NB, Blacks Harbour); Harlequin Duck 420 (BC, Deep Bay); Surf Scoter 2067 (BC, Pender Harbour); White-winged Scoter 6670 (ON, Peach Tree); Black Scoter 2108 (QC, Forillon N.P.); Long-tailed Duck 11,578 (ON, Peach Tree); Bufflehead 1823 (BC, Victoria); Common Goldeneye 5038 (QC, Baie-Missisquoi); Barrow’s Goldeneye 1296 (BC, Pender Harbour); Hooded Merganser 488 (BC, Victoria); Common Merganser 2500 (BC, Victoria); Red-breasted Merganser 2488 (ON, Long Point); Ruddy Duck 227 (BC, White Rock-Surrey-Langley).
California Quail 1981 (BC, Penticton); Chukar 24 (BC, Lillooet); Gray Partridge 783 (SK, Regina); Ring-necked Pheasant 152 (NS, Wolfville); Ruffed Grouse 32 (QC, Hudson); Spruce Grouse 6 (NT, Fort Smith); Willow Ptarmigan 22 (NT, Yellowknife); Rock Ptarmigan 5 (NU, Arctic Bay); White-tailed Ptarmigan 1 (BC, Smithers, Whistler); Dusky Grouse 3 (BC, Penticton); Sooty Grouse 2 (BC, Cortes Island); Sharp-tailed Grouse 185 (SK, Harris); Wild Turkey 521 (ON, Dunrobin-Breckenridge, Pakenham-Arnprior); Pied-billed Grebe 66 (BC, Victoria); Horned Grebe 307 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring); Red-necked Grebe 200 (BC, Comox); Eared Grebe 4 (BC, Cortes Island, Galiano-North Saltspring); Western Grebe 400 (BC, Powell River); Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 5379 (ON, Toronto); Band-tailed Pigeon 11 (BC, Parksville-Qualicum Beach); Eurasian Collared-Dove 281 (BC, Vernon); Mourning Dove 1356 (ON, Peterborough); Anna’s Hummingbird 1331 (BC, Victoria); Rufous Hummingbird 1 (BC, Squamish); Virginia Rail 29 (BC, Nanaimo); Sora 1 (BC, Victoria); Common Gallinule 1 (NL, St. Johns); American Coot 2373 (BC, Kuskanook); Sandhill Crane 5786 (ON, Long Point); Black Oystercatcher 145 (BC, Deep Bay); Black-bellied Plover 984 (BC, Ladner); Killdeer 79 (BC, Victoria); Whimbrel 1 (BC, Deep Bay); Marbled Godwit 9 (BC, White Rock-Surrey-Langley); Black Turnstone 483 (BC, Deep Bay); Surfbird 420 (BC, Nanaimo); Sanderling 685 (BC, Ladner); Dunlin 33,255 (BC, Ladner); Rock Sandpiper 13 (BC, Sunshine Coast); Purple Sandpiper 227 (NL, Cape Race); Western Sandpiper 6 (BC, White Rock-Surrey-Langley); Long-billed Dowitcher 60 (BC, White Rock-Surrey-Langley); American Woodcock 1 (ON, Port Hope-Cobourg, Toronto); Wilson’s Snipe 25 (BC, Victoria); Spotted Sandpiper 2 (BC, Victoria); Willet 1 (BC, Ladner; NS, Broad Cove); Greater Yellowlegs 265 (BC, Ladner).
Pomarine Jaeger 26 (NS, Brier Island); Dovekie 389 (NL, Cape Race); Common Murre 1152 (BC, Sooke); Thick-billed Murre 6 (NL, Cape Race); Razorbill 119 (PE, East Point); Black Guillemot 970 (QC, Forillon N.P.); Pigeon Guillemot 136 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring); Marbled Murrelet 105 (BC, Pender Harbour); Ancient Murrelet 1807 (BC, Parksville-Qualicum Beach); Cassin’s Auklet 1 (BC, Bamfield); Rhinoceros Auklet 61 (BC, Sooke); Atlantic Puffin 2 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Black-legged Kittiwake 1262 (NB, Brier Island); Bonaparte’s Gull 1401 (NS, Antigonish); Black-headed Gull 14 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Little Gull 1 (NS, Pictou Harbour; ON, Long Point); Short-billed Gull 1593 (BC, Parksville-Qualicum Beach); Ring-billed Gull 1636 (ON, West Elgin); Western Gull 4 (BC, Galiano-North Saltspring); California Gull 1028 (BC, Penticton); Herring Gull 6913 (NS, Wolfville); Iceland Gull 1923 (NL, St. Johns); Iceland Gull (Thayer’s) 1308 (BC, Powell River); Iceland Gull (kumlieni) 638 (NS, The Sydneys); Lesser Black-backed Gull 10 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A.); Slaty-backed Gull 1 (BC, Tlell; ON, Toronto); Glaucous-winged Gull 10,935 (BC, Ladner); Glaucous Gull 381 (NL, St. Johns); Great Black-backed Gull 2510 (QC, Longueuil); Red-throated Loon 43 (ON, Blenheim); Pacific Loon 721 (BC, Parksville-Qualicum Beach); Common Loon 170 (BC, Comox); Yellow-billed Loon 1 (BC, Kitimat, White Rock-Surrey-Langley); Northern Fulmar 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Northern Gannet 94 (NS, Brier Island); Brandt’s Cormorant 2327 (BC, Sooke); Double-crested Cormorant 937 (BC, Sooke); Great Cormorant 89 (NS, Brier Island); Pelagic Cormorant 1018 (BC, Victoria); American White Pelican 1 (AB, High River; ON, Long Point); American Bittern 1 (BC, Ladner; NS, Halifax-Dartmouth);Great Blue Heron 260 (BC, Ladner); Great Egret 1 (NS, Cape Sable Island); Green Heron 1 (BC, Abbotsford-Mission); Black-crowned Night-Heron 6 (ON, Toronto).
Black Vulture 1 (ON, Sandbanks; QC, Lascelles); Turkey Vulture 95 (NS, Yarmouth); Osprey 1 (ON, Hanover-Walkerton); Golden Eagle 9 (BC, Penticton); Northern Harrier 126 (BC, Ladner); Sharp-shinned Hawk 16 (BC, Parksville-Qualicum Beach; ON, Kitchener); Cooper’s Hawk 49 (BC, Victoria); Northern Goshawk 5 (BC, Terrace); Bald Eagle 1345 (BC, Ladner); Red-shouldered Hawk 1 (ON, Dunnville, Dunrobin-Breckenridge, Kettle Point, Long Point, Napanee, Orono, Peel-Halton Counties, Sandbanks, Skunk’s Misery, Toronto, West Elgin, Woodhouse Township); Broad-winged Hawk 1 (NB, Shediac; NS, Bedford-Sackville, Caledonia, Chezzetcook, Kingston, Yarmouth); Red-tailed Hawk 142 (ON, Peel-Halton Counties); Red-tailed Hawk (Harlan’s) 1 (BC, Armstrong-Enderby, Lake Country, Oliver-Osoyoos); Rough-legged Hawk 63 (ON, Linwood); Barn Owl 7 (BC, Ladner); Western Screech-Owl 2 (BC, Kelowna); Eastern Screech-Owl 63 (ON, Cambridge); Great Horned Owl 30 (BC, Victoria); Snowy Owl 21 (ON, Linwood); Northern Hawk Owl 3 (BC, Smithers); Northern Pygmy-Owl 9 (BC, Creston Valley, Smithers); Barred Owl 18 (BC, Victoria); Great Gray Owl 15 (AB, Cochrane Wildlife Reserve); Long-eared Owl 9 (ON, Peel-Halton Counties); Short-eared Owl 72 (ON, Amherst Island); Boreal Owl 1 (AB, Devon-Calmar; SK, Love, Torch Valley; YT, Haines Junction); Northern Saw-whet Owl 4 (ON, Amherst Island).
Belted Kingfisher 34 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring, Victoria); Red-headed Woodpecker 2 (ON, Dunrobin-Breckenridge, Frontenac); Red-bellied Woodpecker 159 (ON, London); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 3 (ON, Port Hope-Cobourg, West Elgin); Red-breasted Sapsucker 26 (BC, Galiano-North Saltspring); American Three-toed Woodpecker 10 (AB, Banff-Canmore, Jasper); Black-backed Woodpecker 6 (SK, Prince Albert N.P.); Downy Woodpecker 430 (AB, Edmonton); Hairy Woodpecker 191 (MB, Winnipeg); Northern Flicker 600 (BC, Victoria); Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) 310 (BC, Kelowna); Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 34 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Pileated Woodpecker 86 (AB, Edmonton); American Kestrel 37 (ON, Peach Tree); Merlin 21 (BC, Victoria); Gyrfalcon 2 (AB, Devon-Calmar); Peregrine Falcon 21 (BC, Ladner); Prairie Falcon 4 (AB, Medicine Hat).
Black Phoebe 1 (BC, Victoria); Eastern Phoebe 4 (ON, Guelph, St. Thomas, West Elgin); Northern Shrike 12 (ON, Dunrobin-Breckenridge); Hutton’s Vireo 8 (BC, Galiano-North Saltspring); Blue-headed Vireo 1 (NS, Yarmouth); Canada Jay 74 (ON, Eagle River); Steller’s Jay 222 (BC, Parksville-Qualicum Beach); Blue Jay 1441 (NS, Wolfville); California Scrub-Jay 2 (BC, Ladner); Black-billed Magpie 3447 (AB, Edmonton); Clark’s Nutcracker 91 (AB, Banff-Canmore); American Crow 72,000 (QC, St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu); Fish Crow 2 (ON, Peel-Halton Counties); Common Raven 3093 (NT, Yellowknife); Horned Lark 810 (ON, Wallaceburg); Black-capped Chickadee 3691 (AB, Edmonton); Mountain Chickadee 332 (BC, Banff-Canmore); Chestnut-backed Chickadee 2566 (BC, Victoria); Boreal Chickadee 68 (AB, Sheep River); Tufted Titmouse 43 (ON, Kettle Point, Wallaceburg); Bushtit 1293 (BC, Victoria); Red-breasted Nuthatch 769 (BC, Victoria); White-breasted Nuthatch 866 (MB, Winnipeg); Pygmy Nuthatch 333 (BC, Kelowna); Brown Creeper 206 (BC, Victoria); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth).
Rock Wren 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth ); Canyon Wren 15 (BC, Vaseux Lake); House Wren 2 (NB, St. Stephen); Pacific Wren 376 (BC, Victoria); Winter Wren 35 (ON, Toronto); Marsh Wren 45 (BC, Ladner); Carolina Wren 101 (ON, Hamilton); Bewick’s Wren 420 (BC, Victoria); American Dipper 25 (BC, Lillooet, Squamish); Golden-crowned Kinglet 832 (BC, Victoria); Ruby-crowned Kinglet 336 (BC, Victoria); Eastern Bluebird 88 (ON, West Elgin); Western Bluebird 243 (BC, Oliver-Osoyoos); Mountain Bluebird 4 (BC, Vaseux Lake); Townsend’s Solitaire 53 (BC, Williams Lake); Swainson’s Thrush 1 (AB, Calgary); Hermit Thrush 34 (BC, Victoria); American Robin 6185 (BC, Victoria); Varied Thrush 390 (BC, Victoria); Gray Catbird 6 (ON, Long Point); Brown Thrasher 1 (AB, Lac La Biche; MB, Pinawa-Lac du Bonnet; ON, Pembroke, Peach Tree, Sault Ste. Marie; QC, Georgeville); Northern Mockingbird 21 (ON, Toronto); European Starling 13,692 (BC, Ladner); Bohemian Waxwing 5148 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau); Cedar Waxwing 434 (ON, Port Hope-Cobourg); House Sparrow 7077 (MB, Winnipeg); American Pipit 68 (BC, Victoria); Evening Grosbeak 882 (NB, Sackville); Pine Grosbeak 593 (BC, Prince George); Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch 12 (BC, Smithers); House Finch 1523 (BC, Victoria); Purple Finch 130 (BC, Victoria); Cassin’s Finch 31 (BC, Lillooet); Common Redpoll 4024 (ON, Dunrobin-Breckenridge); Hoary Redpoll 79 (NT, Yellowknife); Red Crossbill 1626 (BC, Victoria); White-winged Crossbill 404 (BC, Smithers); Pine Siskin 9047 (BC, Victoria); Lesser Goldfinch 1 (BC, Kelowna, Penticton); American Goldfinch 1727 (NS, Wolfville).
Lapland Longspur 12 (ON, Pike Bay); Snow Bunting 3488 (ON, Dunrobin-Breckenridge); Spotted Towhee 1232 (BC, Victoria); Eastern Towhee 3 (ON, Long Point); American Tree Sparrow 787 (ON, Wallaceburg); Chipping Sparrow 6 (ON, Long Point); Clay-colored Sparrow 2 (NS, Wolfville); Field Sparrow 23 (ON, Woodhouse Township); Lark Sparrow 1 (NS, Glace Bay); Savannah Sparrow 54 (BC, Victoria); Savannah Sparrow (Ipswich) 93 (NS, Sable Island); Fox Sparrow 1740 (BC, Victoria); Song Sparrow 1052 (BC, White Rock-Surrey-Langley); Lincoln’s Sparrow 124 (BC, Victoria); Swamp Sparrow 115 (ON, Long Point); White-throated Sparrow 129 (ON, Toronto); Harris’s Sparrow 2 (ON, Port Hope-Cobourg); White-crowned Sparrow 595 (BC, Victoria); Golden-crowned Sparrow 1843 (BC, Victoria); Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 2072 (ON, St. Thomas); Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) 6101 (BC, Victoria).
Yellow-breasted Chat 3 (NL, St. Johns; NS, Halifax-Dartmouth); Yellow-headed Blackbird 1 (BC, Creston Valley, 100 Mile House, Kelowna; PE, Hillsborough); Eastern Meadowlark 2 (ON, Saugeen Shores); Western Meadowlark 28 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring); Bullock’s Oriole 1 (BC, Comox; QC, Otterburn Park); Baltimore Oriole 3 (NS, Lunenburg); Red-winged Blackbird 6060 (ON, Long Point); Brown-headed Cowbird 626 (QC, St.-Timothee); Rusty Blackbird 9 (ON, Manitoulin Island); Brewer’s Blackbird 1855 (BC, Ladner); Common Grackle 396 (ON, Wallaceburg); Black-and-white Warbler 1 (NL, St. Johns); Tennessee Warbler 1 (NL, St. Johns; NS, Yarmouth); Orange-crowned Warbler 6 (ON, Toronto); Common Yellowthroat 6 (ON, Blenheim); Cape May Warbler 1 (NL, Stephenville); Northern Parula 2 (ON, Peel-Halton Counties); Yellow Warbler 1 (NL, St. Johns); Black-throated Blue Warbler 1 (QC, Beauce Sud); Palm Warbler 3 (NS, Wolfville); Pine Warbler 9 (NS, Bedford-Sackville); Yellow-rumped Warbler 40 (BC, Victoria); Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 62 (NS, Cape Sable Island); Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) 4 (BC, Kelowna); Townsend’s Warbler 6 (BC, Victoria); Wilson’s Warbler 2 (NS, Bedford-Sackville); Northern Cardinal 741 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau); Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1 (ON, Woodhouse Township); Dickcissel 1 (NB, Cape Sable Island, Wolfville).
All-time Canadian High Counts (2020 Update; en anglais)
This is a summary of the highest counts reported for individual species and forms in Canada since the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) began in 1900. A total of 438 species have been reported on Count Days during that period, which is an increase of 18 species since Richard Cannings summarized Canadian CBCs ten years ago. British Columbia CBCs recorded the most species high counts (187), followed by Ontario (115), Nova Scotia (61), Alberta, (18), and Newfoundland and Labrador (17).
There are seven species and one form only found during Count Week (cw): Tundra Bean-Goose, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Laysan Albatross, Manx Shearwater, Magnificent Frigatebird, Red-tailed (Krider’s) Hawk, and Cassin’s Vireo. The list of hypothetical species reported during CBCs that are under review by Bird Records Committee include: European Golden-Plover, Little Stint, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe, Oak/Juniper Titmouse.
The format for listing is as follows: species name followed by number of individuals, (within parenthesis, province or territory followed by CBC name(s) and count year where high count was first reported. Unestablished exotics and hybrids are excluded from this list.
Emperor Goose 2 (BC, Skidegate Inlet 89), Snow Goose 127,022 (QC, Baie-Missisquoi 117), Ross’s Goose 4 (ON, Blenheim 114), Greater White-fronted Goose 338 (BC, Chilliwack 80), Tundra Bean-Goose cw (NS, Yarmouth 114), Pink-footed Goose 14 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 100), Brant 4800 (BC, Ladner 115), Barnacle Goose 1 (QC, Longueuil 110), Cackling Goose 5305 (BC, Chilliwack 119), Canada Goose 47,551 (AB, Lethbridge 120), Mute Swan 1201 (ON, Holiday Beach 115), Trumpeter Swan 3443 (BC, Kelowna 96), Tundra Swan 10,870 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A. 116), Wood Duck 964 (BC, Chilliwack 114), Blue-winged Teal 30 (BC, Fisherville 104), Cinnamon Teal 8 (BC, Ladner 83), Northern Shoveler 988 (BC, Duncan 78), Gadwall 6879 (ON, Blenheim 113), Eurasian Wigeon 113 (BC, Ladner 107), American Wigeon 58,860 (BC, Ladner 92), Mallard 46,851 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A. 119), American Black Duck 13,651 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 103), Northern Pintail 55,070 (BC, Ladner 92), Green-winged Teal (Eurasian) 12 (NL, St. John, 111), Green-winged Teal (American) 23,472 (BC, Ladner 92), Canvasback 25,800 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A. 107), Redhead 26,081 (ON, Long Point 115), Ring-necked Duck 850 (BC, Duncan 111), Tufted Duck 78 (NL, St. Johns 114), Greater Scaup 60,200 (ON, Point Pelee 113), Lesser Scaup 15,000 (ON, Point Pelee 91), King Eider 22 (ON, Hamilton 64), Common Eider 7528 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 97), Harlequin Duck 886 (BC, Deep Bay 83), Surf Scoter 12,216 (BC, Lower Howe Sound 112), White-winged Scoter 10,115 (ON, Prince Edward Point 95), Black Scoter 1450 (PE, East Point 112), Long-tailed Duck 148,326 (ON, Prince Edward Point 102), Bufflehead 3487 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring 116), Common Goldeneye 11,612 (BC, Tlell 105), Barrow’s Goldeneye 3747 (BC, Lower Howe Sound 106), Smew 1 (BC, White Rock 90), Hooded Merganser 701 (BC, Victoria 107), Common Merganser 39,640 (ON, Point Pelee 90), Red-breasted Merganser 35, 803 (ON, Oshawa 112), Ruddy Duck 11,280 (BC, White Rock 79).
Mountain Quail 9 (BC, Victoria 64),California Quail 4566 (BC, Penticton 105), Chukar 281 (BC, Oliver-Osoyoos 113), Gray Partridge 728 (SK, Regina 104), Ring-necked Pheasant 4000 (QC, St-Anne-du-Lac 113), Ruffed Grouse 149 (ON, Algonquin P.P. 107), Greater Sage-Grouse 106 (SK, Govenlock 80), Spruce Grouse 37 (MB, Riding Mountain N.P. 77), Willow Ptarmigan 476 (NT, Yellowknife 98), Rock Ptarmigan 46 (MB, Churchill 98), White-tailed Ptarmigan 48 (AB, Bow Summit 90), Dusky Grouse 17 (BC, Penticton 107, Sooty Grouse 4 (BC, Squamish 96), Sharp-tailed Grouse 390 (MB, Lyleton 107), Wild Turkey 849 (ON, Pakenham-Arnprior 111), Pied-billed Grebe 101 (BC, Ladner 79), Horned Grebe 1100 (BC, Victoria 67), Red-necked Grebe 708 (BC, Tlell 105), Eared Grebe 461 (BC, Pender Islands 81), Western Grebe 15,174 (BC, Deep Bay 84), Clark’s Grebe 2 (BC, Sooke 90), Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 18,020 (BC, Vancouver 102), Band-tailed Pigeon 449 (BC, Pender Islands 79), Eurasian Collared-Dove 608 (BC, Vernon 118), White-winged Dove 2 (NS, Cape Sable Island 110), Mourning Dove 2443 (ON, Cedar Creek 106), Anna’s Hummingbird 1256 (BC, Victoria 120), Costa’s Hummingbird 1 (BC, Vancouver 111), Rufous Hummingbird 4 (BC, Pender Islands 114), Xantus’s Hummingbird 1 (BC, Sunshine Coast 98), Clapper Rail 1 (NS, Broad Cove 74), King Rail 1 (ON, Long Point 77), Virginia Rail 39 (BC, Vancouver 85), Sora 3 (BC, Vaseux Lake 100), Purple Gallinule 1 (NS, Port L’Hebert 94), Common Gallinule 1 (ON, Hamilton 48), American Coot 8202 (ON, Blenheim 102), Sandhill Crane 3577 (ON, Long Point 120).
Black-necked Stilt 1 (ON, Wallaceburg 102), American Avocet 4 (BC, White Rock 98), Black Oystercatcher 391 (BC, Skidegate Inlet 113), Northern Lapwing 1 (NL, St. John’s 84), Black-bellied Plover 6855 (BC, Ladner 105), American Golden-Plover 2 (BC, Skidegate Inlet 98), Pacific Golden-Plover 3 (BC, Skidegate Inlet 101), Semipalmated Plover 6 (BC, Deep Bay 103), Killdeer 427 (BC, Ladner 102), Whimbrel 6 (BC, Victoria 63), Whimbrel (Eurasian) 1 (NS, Broad Cove 75), Long-billed Curlew 1 (BC, Ladner 80), Black-tailed Godwit 1 (PE, Prince Edward Island N.P. 99), Marbled Godwit 6 (BC, White Rock 108), Ruddy Turnstone 22 (NS, Louisbourg 68), Black Turnstone 3560 (BC, Comox 83), Red Knot 48 (NS, Cape Sable Island 100), Surfbird 644 (BC, Pender Islands 103), Ruff 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 103), Sanderling 1678 (BC, Rose Spit 100), Dunlin 84,773 (BC, Ladner 103), Rock Sandpiper 193 (BC, Greater Masset 88), Purple Sandpiper 430 (NB, Grand Manan Island 89), Baird’s Sandpiper 1 (ON, Blenheim 72), Least Sandpiper 42 (BC, Ladner 102), White-rumped Sandpiper 9 (NL, Cape Race 115), Pectoral Sandpiper 3 (BC, Nanaimo 79), Semipalmated Sandpiper 15 (NS, Cape Sable Island 103), Western Sandpiper 301 (BC, Ladner 108), Short-billed Dowitcher 68 (BC, Vancouver 70), Long-billed Dowitcher 683 (BC, Ladner 76), American Woodcock 5 (ON, Prince Edward Point 105, Wilson’s Snipe 151 (BC, Vancouver 82), Spotted Sandpiper 7 (BC, Nanaimo 113), Solitary Sandpiper cw (BC, Cortes Island 109), Wandering Tattler 1 (BC, Vancouver 64). Lesser Yellowlegs 7 (BC, Vancouver 70), Willet 3 (BC, Ladner 102), Spotted Redshank cw (NS, Halifax [west] 60), Greater Yellowlegs 91 (BC, White Rock 106), Red-necked Phalarope 1 (NS, Louisbourg and Cape Breton 73), Red Phalarope 560 (BC, Sooke 103).
Great Skua 1 (NS, Brier Island 93), Pomarine Jaeger 4 (NS, Brier Island 120), Parasitic Jaeger 1 (BC, White Rock 78), Dovekie 73,668 (NL, L’Anse-aux-Meadows 85), Common Murre 10,940 (BC, Campbell River 95), Thick-billed Murre 51,050 (NL, L’Anse-aux-Meadows 85), Razorbill 15,000 (NB, Grand Manan Island 99), Black Guillemot 1009 (QC, Forillon N.P. 104), Pigeon Guillemot 583 (BC, Sidney-South Saltspring 120), Marbled Murrelet 2125 (BC, Ladner 76), Kittlitz’s Murrelet 1 (BC, Victoria 86), Ancient Murrelet 21,420 (BC, Sunshine Coast 112), Cassin’s Auklet 1398 (BC, Rose Spit 96), Rhinoceros Auklet 113 (BC, Victoria 100), Atlantic Puffin 200 (NS, Brier Island 91), Tufted Puffin 2 (BC, Victoria 66), Black-legged Kittiwake 48,000 (NS, Brier Island 79), Ivory Gull 17 (NL, L’Anse-aux-Meadows 86), Sabine’s Gull 1 (BC, Victoria 64), Bonaparte’s Gull 26,187 (ON, Niagara Falls 92), Black-headed Gull 365 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 106), Little Gull 117 (ON, Long Point 92), Laughing Gull 2 (NS, Halifax [east] 69), Franklin’s Gull 1 (AB, Lethbridge 117), Black-tailed Gull 1 (NL, St. Johns 111), Heermann’s Gull 4 (BC, Pender Islands 83), Mew Gull 16,375 (BC, Victoria 75), Ring-billed Gull 33,522 (ON, West Elgin 112), Western Gull 121 (BC, Tofino 102), California Gull 1007 (BC, Parksville-Qualicum Beach 103), Herring Gull 30,610 (NS, Wolfville 99), Yellow-legged Gull 2 (NL, St. John’s 111), Iceland Gull 6004 (QC, Tadoussac 93), Iceland (Thayer’s) Gull 3110 (BC, Victoria 104), Iceland (kumlieni) Gull 3611 (NL, St. John’s 110), Lesser Black-backed Gull 74 (ON, Barrie 106), Slaty-backed Gull 1 (BC, Ladner 94), Glaucous-winged Gull 55,803 (BC, Ladner 106), Glaucous Gull 1269 (NL, St. Anthony 82), Great Black-backed Gull 14,275 (NL, Corner Brook 98), Caspian Tern 1 (ON, Hamilton 81), Black Tern 1 (ON, Wiarton 92), Common Tern 5 (BC, Surrey Municipality 62), Forster’s Tern 2 (ON, Blenheim 102).
Red-throated Loon 1151 (BC, Tlell 105), Arctic Loon 1 (BC, Duncan 108), Pacific Loon 4437 (BC, Campbell River 105), Common Loon 618 (BC, Comox 105), Yellow-billed Loon 43 (BC, Hecate Strait 110), Laysan Albatross cw (BC, Juan de Fuca 112), Black-footed Albatross 2 (BC, Greater Masset 114), Northern Fulmar 1619 (NL, Cape St. Mary’s 100), Black-capped Petrel 1 (ON, Wye Marsh 102), Cory’s Shearwater 1 (NB, Cape Tormentine 99), Buller’s Shearwater 1 (BC, Hecate Strait 106), Short-tailed Shearwater 81 (BC, Langara Island 100), Sooty Shearwater 1238 (BC, Rose Spit 99), Great Shearwater 15 (NS, Brier Island 116), Pink-footed Shearwater 1 (NS, Glace Bay 118), Manx Shearwater cw (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 109), Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 2 (BC, Rose Spit 119), Leach’s Storm-Petrel 6 (NL, Terra Nova N.P. 75), Magnificent Frigatebird cw (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 108), Northern Gannet 596 (NS, Cape Sable Island 100), Brandt’s Cormorant 4280 (BC, Sooke 86), Double-crested Cormorant 2361 (BC, Vancouver 120), Great Cormorant 433 (NS, Halifax [west] 85), Red-faced Cormorant 1 (BC, Rose Spit 114), Pelagic Cormorant 3233 (BC, Nanaimo 89), American White Pelican 10 (SK, Gardiner Dam 111), Brown Pelican 19 (BC, Victoria 113), American Bittern 26 (BC, Ladner 106), Great Blue Heron 317 (BC, Ladner 115), Great Egret 2 (NS, Cape Sable Island 109), Snowy Egret 1 (NS, Halifax [east] 80), Little Blue Heron 1 (NS, Yarmouth 100), Cattle Egret 3 (BC, Ladner 80), Green Heron 7 (BC, Pitt Meadows 111), Black-crowned Night-Heron 20 (ON, Toronto 107).
Black Vulture 16 (ON, Niagara Falls 120), Turkey Vulture 190 (ON, Dunnville 119), Osprey 3 (BC, Deep Bay 79), Golden Eagle 14 (SK, Fort Walsh Cypress Hills 88), Northern Harrier 162 (ON, Fisherville 91), Sharp-shinned Hawk 41 (SK, Saskatoon 62), Cooper’s Hawk 74 (BC, Nanaimo 117), Northern Goshawk 16 (SK, E.B. Campbell Dam 81), Bald Eagle 2805 (BC, Squamish 94), Red-shouldered Hawk 18 (QC, Longueuil 116), Broad-winged Hawk 2 (ON, Peel-Halton Counties 66), Swainson’s Hawk 1 (BC, Pitt Meadows 78), Red-tailed Hawk 345 (ON, Fisherville 94), Red-tailed (Harlan’s) Hawk 28 (BC, Vernon 117), Red-tailed (Krider’s) Hawk cw (ON, Point Pelee 102), Rough-legged Hawk 195 (ON, Kingston 75), Ferruginous Hawk 6 (AB, Edmonton 7), Barn Owl 49 (BC, Vancouver 78), Western Screech-Owl 23 (BC, Victoria 92), Eastern Screech-Owl 141 (ON, Fisherville 100), Great Horned Owl 80 (ON, Cambridge 87), Snowy Owl 107 (BC, Ladner 74), Northern Hawk Owl 40 (AB, Opal 105), Northern Pygmy-Owl 17 (BC, Vernon 78), Burrowing Owl 2 (BC, Kamloops 115), Barred Owl 26 (ON, Petroglyphs 120), Great Gray Owl 24 (MB, Pinawa-Lac du Bonnet 101), Long-eared Owl 65 (ON, Hamilton 61), Short-eared Owl 106 (ON, Fisherville 96), Boreal Owl 8 (AB, Cochrane Wildlife Reserve 103), Northern Saw-whet Owl 52 (BC, Vaseux Lake 106).
Belted Kingfisher 71 (BC, Victoria 90), Lewis’s Woodpecker 25 (BC, Penticton 75), Red-headed Woodpecker 114 (ON, Blenheim 84), Acorn Woodpecker 1 (BC, Abbotsford-Mission 111), Red-bellied Woodpecker 166 (ON, London 118), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4 (ON, London 81, Niagara Falls 72), Red-naped Sapsucker 2 (BC, Creston 91), Red-breasted Sapsucker 124 (BC, Sunshine Coast 117), American Three-toed Woodpecker 29 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau 77), Black-backed Woodpecker 35 (ON, Algonquin P.P. 107), Downy Woodpecker 568 (AB, Edmonton 116), Hairy Woodpecker 379 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau 115), White-headed Woodpecker 1 (BC, Vaseux Lake 76), Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) 689 (BC, Victoria 118), Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 102 (NL, St. Johns 108), Pileated Woodpecker 85 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau 115), American Kestrel 154 (ON, Fisherville 92), Merlin 43 (AB, Calgary 116), Gyrfalcon 6 (NL, St. Anthony 83), Peregrine Falcon 29 (BC, Ladner 110), Prairie Falcon 8 (AB, Nanton 110).
Ash-throated Flycatcher 1 (BC, Ladner 101), Western Kingbird 1 (BC, Victoria 64), Eastern Kingbird (NS, Yarmouth 74), Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1 (ON, Cedar Creek, Gray Flycatcher 1 (ON, Fisherville 104), Dusky Flycatcher 1 (NS, Wolfville 97), Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher 1 NB, Grand Manan Island 116), Black Phoebe 1 (BC, Chilliwack 114), Eastern Phoebe 5 (ON, Toronto 119), Say’s Phoebe 2 (BC, Penticton 77), Vermilion Flycatcher 1 (ON, Wallaceburg 116), Loggerhead Shrike 2 (ON, St. Thomas 61), Northern Shrike 51 (ON, Oshawa 96), White-eyed Vireo 1 (ON, Pickering 85), Hutton’s Vireo 18 (BC, Pender Islands 106), Cassin’s Vireo cw (BC, Nanaimo 100), Blue-headed Vireo 2 (ON, Peel-Halton Counties 116), Plumbeous Vireo 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 100), Canada Jay 185 (AB, Cochrane Wildlife Reserve 96), Steller’s Jay 659 (BC, Victoria 93), Blue Jay 1598 (AB, Edmonton 89), California Scrub-Jay 2 (BC, White Rock 117), Clark’s Nutcracker 277 (AB, Banff-Canmore 79), Black-billed Magpie 3374 (AB, Edmonton 102), Eurasian. Jackdaw 1 (NS, Halifax [west] 85), American Crow 159,860 (ON, St. Clair N.W.A. 100), Northwestern Crow 35,365 (BC, Vancouver 110), Fish Crow 1 (ON, Hamilton 119), Common Raven 3007 (YT, Whitehorse 117).
Eurasian Skylark 960 (BC, Victoria 66), Horned Lark 6012 (ON, Blenheim 86), Tree Swallow 7 (NS, Halifax [east] 70), Violet-green Swallow 4 (BC, Comox 20), Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2 (ON, London 80), Cliff Swallow 2 (BC, Vancouver 92), Barn Swallow 5 (ON, Sutton 104), Black-capped Chickadee 6239 (AB, Edmonton 94), Mountain Chickadee 519 (BC, Penticton 87), Chestnut-backed Chickadee 3143 (BC, Victoria 120), Boreal Chickadee 371 (NL, Terra Nova N.P. 85), Tufted Titmouse 70 (ON, Wallaceburg 104), Bushtit 2522 (BC, Victoria 100), Red-breasted Nuthatch 1384 (ON, Algonquin P.P. 79), White-breasted Nuthatch 771 (MB, Winnipeg 118), Pygmy Nuthatch 515 (BC, Penticton 90), Brown Creeper 277 (ON, Point Pelee 78), Rock Wren 6 (BC, Vaseux Lake 101), Canyon Wren 25 (BC, Oliver-Osoyoos 96), Carolina Wren 122 (ON, Hamilton 120), Bewick’s Wren 365 (BC, Victoria 112), House Wren 4 (BC, Nanaimo 80, ON, Thousand Islands 95), Pacific Wren 587 (BC, Victoria 114), Winter Wren 35 (ON, Toronto 115), Sedge Wren 1 (NS, Broad Cove 77), Marsh Wren 136 (BC, Ladner 104), American Dipper 149 (BC, Lillooet 103), Golden-crowned Kinglet 4000 (BC, Victoria 70), Ruby-crowned Kinglet 402 (BC, Victoria, 105), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1 (ON, Point Pelee 83).
Red-flanked Bluetail 1 (BC, Comox 117), Northern Wheatear 1 (NL, St. Anthony 75), Eastern Bluebird 149 (ON, Cedar Creek 99), Western Bluebird 268 (BC, Penticton 120), Mountain Bluebird 12 (BC, Penticton 81), Townsend’s Solitaire 167 (BC, Vernon 116), Veery 1 (ON, Toronto 93), Gray-cheeked Thrush 1 (ON, Kingston 78), Swainson’s Thrush 1 (BC, Victoria 62), Hermit Thrush 76 (BC, Victoria 117), Wood Thrush 1 (MB, Winnipeg 85), Dusky Thrush 1 (BC, White Rock 93), Fieldfare 1 (NL, St. John’s 92), Redwing 1 (NL, Ferryland 99), Mistle Thrush 1 (NB, Mirimachi 118), American Robin 14,327 (BC, Victoria 96), Varied Thrush 1212 (BC, Vancouver 84), Gray Catbird 31 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 118), Northern Mockingbird 159 (ON, Niagara Falls 90), Sage Thrasher 1 (ON, Blenheim 109), Brown Thrasher 5 (ON, Hamilton 71), Curve-billed Thrasher 1 (SK, Dalmeny-Langham 107), European Starling 254,068 (BC, Vancouver 65), Crested Myna 1632 (BC, Vancouver 61), Bohemian Waxwing 35,298 (AB, Edmonton 106), Cedar Waxwing 6190 (ON, Sandbanks 117). Siberian Accentor 1 (BC, White Rock 116), House Sparrow 23,761 (MB, Winnipeg 90), Eurasian Tree Sparrow 2 (MB, Winnipeg 115), Citrine Wagtail 1 (BC, Comox, 113), Red-throated Pipit 1 (BC, Ladner 91), American Pipit 1327 (ON, Point Pelee 117), Common Chaffinch 1 (NS, Halifax [west] 89), Brambling 3 (BC, Port Clements 106), Evening Grosbeak 2621 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau 73), Pine Grosbeak 1847 (NL, St. Anthony’s 75), Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch 600 (BC, Penticton 87), Purple Finch 1845 (NS, Broad Cove 92), Cassin’s Finch 312 (BC, Vaseux Lake 89), House Finch 3020 (ON, St. Thomas 89), Red Crossbill 3527 (ON, Algonquin P.P. 95), White-winged Crossbill 8728 (ON, Algonquin P.P. 85), Common Redpoll 14,159 (NB, Cape Tormentine 92), Hoary Redpoll 367 (NT, Nahanni Butte 115), Pine Siskin 11,128 (BC, Sooke 113), Lesser Goldfinch 1 (BC, Merritt 117), American Goldfinch 2696 (NS, Wolfville 92).
Lapland Longspur 550 (ON, Kingston 97), Smith’s Longspur 2 (AB, Nanton 103), Thick-billed Longspur 1 (SK, Govenlock 83), Snow Bunting 33,935 (SK, Raymore 83), McKay’s Bunting 2 (BC, Vancouver 105), Little Bunting 1 (BC, Greater Masset 109), Rustic Bunting 1 (SK, Creighton 110), Green-tailed Towhee 1 (BC, Comox 85), Spotted Towhee 1501 (BC, Victoria 117), Eastern Towhee 21 (ON, St. Thomas 56), American Tree Sparrow 4500 (ON, Long Point 68), Chipping Sparrow 83 (ON, Cedar Creek 106), Clay-colored Sparrow 2 (BC, Ladner 83), Field Sparrow 140 (ON, St. Thomas 69), Vesper Sparrow 12 (ON, St. Thomas 60), Lark Sparrow 1 (NS, Halifax [east] and ON, Moscow 86), Lark Bunting 1 (NS, Halifax [east] 60), Savannah Sparrow 143 (BC, Ladner 115), Savannah (Ipswich) Sparrow 10 (NS, Halifax [east] 80), Grasshopper Sparrow 1 (NS, Halifax [east] 66), Baird’s Sparrow 1 (BC, Nanaimo 95), LeConte’s Sparrow 2 (BC, Greater Masset 119), Nelson’s Sparrow 20 (NS, Halifax [east] 88), Seaside Sparrow 2 (NS, Halifax [east] 80), Fox Sparrow 951 (BC, Victoria 114), Song Sparrow 7819 (BC, Ladner 102), Lincoln’s Sparrow 137 (BC, Victoria 112), Swamp Sparrow 559 (ON, Long Point 85), White-throated Sparrow 1044 (NS, Broad Cove 77), Harris’s Sparrow 11 (BC, Vernon 86), White-crowned Sparrow 774 (BC, Ladner 76), Golden-crowned Sparrow 1937 (BC, Victoria 114), Dark-eyed (Gray-headed) Junco 1 (MB, Winnipeg 85), Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco 8823 (BC, Victoria 100), Dark-eyed (Pink-sided) Junco 2 (ON, London 108), Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco 3337 (ON, Woodhouse Township 118), Dark-eyed (White-winged) Junco 1 (ON, Hamilton 65), Yellow-breasted Chat 18 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 113) Bobolink 1 (NS, Halifax [east] 74), Red-winged Blackbird 10,278 (ON, Long Point 110), Eastern Meadowlark 249 (ON, St. Thomas 73), Western Meadowlark 189 (BC, Ladner 110), Yellow-headed Blackbird 5 (MB, Delta Marsh 116), Rusty Blackbird 575 (ON, Blenheim 85), Brewer’s Blackbird 190,827 (BC, Ladner 117), Common Grackle 4400 (ON, Wallaceburg 102), Great-tailed Grackle 1 (ON, Long Point 89), Brown-headed Cowbird 30,000 (ON, Guelph 76), Hooded Oriole 1 (BC, Terrace 98), Bullock’s Oriole 1 (NS, Halifax [west] 70), Baltimore Oriole 28 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 109).
Blue-winged Warbler 1 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 102), Orange-crowned Warbler 10 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 97), Nashville Warbler 3 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 100), Northern Parula 1 (ON, Ottawa-Gatineau 94), Yellow Warbler 2 (BC, Vancouver 77), Magnolia Warbler 1 (NS, Halifax [west] 74), Cape May Warbler 1 (AB, Calgary 88), Black-throated Blue Warbler 2 (ON, Toronto 109), Yellow-rumped (Audubon’s) Warbler 87 (BC, Vancouver 79), Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler 243 (NS, Cape Sable Island 98), Black-throated Gray Warbler 1 (ON, Kettle Point 83), Townsend’s Warbler 17 (BC, Juan de Fuca 111), Hermit Warbler 1 (NS, Broad Cove 95), Yellow-throated Warbler 2 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 102), Pine Warbler 14 (NS, Halifax [east] 84), Palm Warbler 15 (NS, Halifax [east] 88), Bay-breasted Warbler 1 (NS, Cape Sable Island 99), Blackpoll Warbler 1 (NS, Cape Sable Island 98), Black-and-white Warbler 4 (NL, St. John’s 94), Ovenbird 1 (ON, Hamilton 66), Northern Waterthrush 2 (ON, Long Point 74), MacGillivray’s Warbler 1 (BC, Terrace 103, Vancouver 101, and Victoria 68), Common Yellowthroat 15 (ON, Long Point 76), Hooded Warbler 1 (NS, Halifax [west] 77), Wilson’s Warbler 2 (NL, Corner Brook 102), Summer Tanager 3 (NS, Halifax-Dartmouth 118), Scarlet Tanager 1 (BC, William’s Lake 113), Western Tanager 1 (BC, Victoria 63), Northern Cardinal 882 (ON, London 112), Pyrrhuloxia 1 (ON, West Elgin 105), Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3 (NB, St. Stephen 106), Black-headed Grosbeak 1 (BC, Chilliwack 73), Blue Grosbeak 1 (QC, Quebec 90), Lazuli Bunting 1 (NS, Cape Sable Island 112), Indigo Bunting 3 (NS, Brier Island 118), Painted Bunting 1 (ON, Toronto 79), Dickcissel 4 (NS, St. Peters 70).
Par Patrick Filatrault
Le 121e Recensement des oiseaux de Noël (RON) a été très fructueux au Québec cette année. En effet, il y a 9 espèces de plus que la moyenne des 6 derniers recensements. Au total, 145 espèces plus quatre espèces d’origine domestique (Oie domestique, Canard malard d’origine domestique, Faisan de Colchide et Perdrix Choukar) ont été observées le jour du recensement. Ce total se divise par 54 espèces aquatiques (37 % de toutes les espèces), 21 de rapaces (diurnes et nocturnes; 15 %) et 70 d’oiseaux terrestres (gélinottes, pics, passereaux; 48 %). Les températures de novembre et de décembre ont été au-dessus de la moyenne mensuelle, classant décembre du 12e mois le plus doux en cent ans au Québec. Ceci a pu favoriser le maintien de certaines espèces migratrices. Toutefois, les nuits froides du 15 au 19 décembre dans plusieurs régions ont causé une couverture de glace de plusieurs plans d’eau; sans cela, les décomptes auraient pu être plus élevés. Enfin, la température a été favorable pour plusieurs recensements, contrairement à l’an passé, où il pleuvait sur le sud du Québec le 14 décembre 2019, jour important de recensement.
Trente-sept recensements ont eu lieu au Québec, ce qui est en deçà de la moyenne 42 des dernières années. Quelques recensements ont été annulés en raison de la pandémie. Les recensements se sont tenus du 14 décembre au 4 janvier. Le jour le plus populaire fut le 19 décembre avec 17 recensements, suivi du 20 décembre avec 5. Un total de 1 162 personnes a participé aux recensements, une légère baisse comparativement aux années précédentes, expliquée par la baisse du nombre de recensement. Le RON de Québec a totalisé le plus grand nombre d’observateurs (165), suivi par Lennoxville (84), Montréal (70) et Hudson (68).
Les espèces d’oiseaux observés dans les recensements québécois ont totalisé un impressionnant total de 380 687 individus (environ 177 000 de plus que l’an passé). Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu s’est encore classé premier avec 91 157 oiseaux, essentiellement grâce à la présence de l’Oie des neiges (9 159) et de la Corneille d’Amérique (72 000), suivi d’Otterburn Park (83 466) avec 54 046 Oies des neiges, et de Baie-Missisquoi avec 29 272 oiseaux. Montréal (15 665), Québec (15 217), Granby (14 116), St-Timothée (12 996), Longueuil (12 152) et Lennoxville (11 718) sont les autres recensements à dépasser le cap des 10 000 oiseaux. Le RON de Québec a eu le plus grand nombre d’espèces (84), suivi d’Otterburn Park (79), Montréal (78), Longueuil (69) et Hudson (63).
Six espèces ont été rapportées dans tous les territoires de recensement : le Pigeon biset, le Pic mineur, la Corneille d’Amérique, le Grand Corbeau, le Geai-bleu et la Mésange à tête noire. Le Pic chevelu, la Sitelle à poitrine rousse et le Durbec des sapins ont été notés dans 36 RON. Le nombre total d’individus recensés dans les 37 RON, qui dépasse les 10 000 sont : la Corneille d’Amérique avec 90 981 (dont la majorité à Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu et à Granby avec 9 000), l’Oie des neiges avec 82 190, la Bernache du Canada (38 585), la Mésange à tête noire (17 329), l’Étourneau sansonnet (16 969), le Sizerin flammé (15 977), le Pigeon biset (15 725) et le Canard colvert (13 498). Il est intéressant de mentionner la différence d’abondance entre 2019-2020 et 2020-2021 pour le Jaseur boréal (7 versus 4 413), le Durbec des sapins (140 versus 1758), le Gros-bec errant (342 versus 3 002) et le Sizerin flammée (94 versus 15 977). Mentionnons que la Pie-grièche boréale a connu une bonne année avec 62 individus vus dans 25 RON.
Chez les espèces menacées ou vulnérables ou susceptibles d’être désignées comme tel, notons un Grèbe esclavon (Percé), 17 Arlequin plongeur (Forillon, Montréal, Parc Aiguebelle, Percé) et 1 837 Garrots d’Islande (répartis dans 8 RON). Le Pygargue à tête blanche a totalisé 127 individus répartis dans 30 RON, tandis que le Faucon pèlerin (13) a été rapporté dans 6 RON, et le Hibou des marais (10) dans Longueuil et Otterburn Park. L’Aigle royal et le Quiscale rouilleux n’ont pas été rapportés cette année.
Au chapitre des espèces rares (en général ou pour la saison), notons les espèces suivantes observées le jour du recensement, dans un recensement québécois cette année : Oie à bec court (Otterburn Park), Cygne siffleur (Îles-de-la-Madeleine), Fuligule à tête rouge (St-Timothée), Urubu noir (Lascelles), Guillemot de Brünnich (Forillon), Mouette rieuse (Îles-de-la-Madeleine), Pic maculé (Otterburn Park), Troglodyte des marais (Montréal), Moqueur chat (Québec), Moqueur roux (Georgeville), Paruline bleue (Beauce), Oriole de Bullock (Otterburn Park).
Enfin, mentionnons des espèces peu souvent rapportées lors des recensements (jour du recensement) : Oie rieuse (Otterburn Park), Eider à tête grise (Tadoussac), Bécasseau violet (Îles-de-la-Madeleine), Mergule nain (Forillon et Îles-de-la-Madeleine) Petit Pingouin (Percé), Épervière boréale (Duhamel), Pic tridactyle (Chicoutimi-Jonquière), Solitaire de Townsend (Lennoxville), Moqueur polyglotte (Longueuil), Paruline à croupion jaune (Îles-de-la-Madeleine), Bruant des prés (Cowansville) et le Bruant Fauve (Montréal).
By Daniel Arndt
Despite the challenges of organizing, running, and compiling counts during a pandemic, 54 Christmas Bird Counts submitted data during the 121st (2020-2021) season in Alberta. December 20 was the most popular count day (17), followed by December 19 (12), and December 27 (5). A total of 229,522 individual birds of 124 species were tallied by 1,309 field counters and 845 feeder counters, an increase in both from the previous year, with 140 new feeder watchers participating. Edmonton had the most field counters (222), while Calgary led the province with party effort and party miles. Participants on the Devon-Calmar CBC put in the most nocturnal effort. Edmonton by far had the most feeder counters (251), followed by Calgary (157).
Calgary was the top count with 69 species on count day, up from 64 species the year previous. Three species or forms were only detected during Count Week, including: Greater White-fronted Goose (Lethbridge), Snow Goose (Calgary), Red-breasted Merganser (Banff-Canmore). The top 10 most abundant species in Alberta, in order of most to least abundant were: Canada Goose, House Sparrow, Mallard, Black-capped Chickadee, Bohemian Waxwing, Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon), Black-billed Magpie, Common Raven, Common Redpoll, and Snow Bunting. Black-billed Magpie and Common Raven were the only species reported on all counts; Blue Jay and Black-capped Chickadee were reported for all but three circles.
Weather conditions throughout Alberta were textbook, with lower temperatures and deeper snows reported at higher latitudes, while higher temperatures and associated higher winds recorded in the central and southern regions of the province. Peace River recorded the coldest low temperature on count day with -27 degrees Celsius, while Lethbridge was the warmest at 9 degrees Celsius. A heavy snowfall early in the new year provided Cochrane with the greatest maximum snow depth (50 cm), while the highest maximum wind speed was, unsurprisingly, reported for Lethbridge (75km/hr).
Species and notes
Canada Goose (75,728) was the most abundant waterfowl species reported, down from the previous year, followed by Mallard (15,908), Common Goldeneye (1,923), Bufflehead (228), and Common Merganser (99), all of which are increases from the previous count year. Lethbridge reported the highest count of Canada Goose (34,576) in Alberta, and Cackling Goose was reported again for Calgary and Lethbridge; participants are reminded to try to obtain photos of this species when observed. Six Trumpeter Swans were reported, with 4 in the Brule count circle, and 2 in Waterton Lakes N.P., and two Tundra Swans were observed, one in the High River count, and the second at Wabumun Lake. Other notable waterfowl include a Wood Duck and a Long-tailed Duck in Calgary, and an overwintering Ruddy Duck in Medicine Hat. Sharp-tailed Grouse were recorded in small numbers throughout their range, with the highest numbers reported for Dinosaur Provincial Park (67) and Manyberries (40). Ring-necked Pheasant numbers are much more scarce than last year, with the highest number also reported in Manyberries (26). Six counts recorded Spruce Grouse, with 3 each reported for Athabasca and Jarvie. The only grebe species reported were 4 Horned Grebes reported for Waterton Lakes N.P., along with one Common Loon in that count circle. A second Common Loon was reported for Spruce View. One American White Pelican was recorded for High River, which was only the third record for the province, and one of only two recorded in Canada this year.
One Virginia Rail was reported in the Banff-Canmore count circle, a usual location for this species, while American Coot was reported on 5 counts: Calgary (3), Spruce View (4), Lethbridge (1), and Medicine Hat (12), with an additional record from Waterton Lakes N.P. during count week.
Three counts reported Killdeer, including Snake’s Head (2), Calgary (3), and Red Deer (1). Wilson’s Snipe numbers were up this year with 5 individuals reported in two counts in the Rockies, four individuals in the Banff-Canmore circle, and one in Jasper. Gull numbers rebounded, with one Glaucous Gull recorded on the Wabamun Lake count, and five white-headed gulls recorded in Medicine Hat. Mourning Dove numbers, following a drop after an unusually high year during the 116th, seem to be back on the rise.
For another year, Bald Eagle was the most abundant raptor (245) with a sharp increase in the number of Rough-legged Hawk (119), but a decline in records for Northern Goshawk (23). Merlin (63) was the most abundant falcon, followed by Prairie Falcon (18), and Gyrfalcon (6), with Canadian high-counts for Prairie Falcon in Medicine Hat (4), and Gyrfalcon in Devon-Calmar (2). A lone American Kestrel was recorded at Medicine Hat for another year. Once again, all nine expected owl species were detected including Canadian high counts represented by fifteen Great Gray Owls at Cochrane Wildlife Reserve, and one Boreal Owl at Devon-Calmar, for the second year in a row. Great Horned Owl was the species most detected (82), followed Great Gray Owl (39), with a sharp decline in Snowy Owl from last year, with only 10 observations.
High counts for Canada were recorded for American Three-toed Woodpecker (10) at Banff-Canmore and Downy (430) and Pileated (86) at Edmonton. With 9 Belted Kingfishers in the province, this species remains stable to increasing trend during winters in Alberta.
The highest Canadian counts for Clark’s Nutcracker once again was recorded in Banff-Canmore (91) with Edmonton displacing Calgary as the high-count for Black-billed Magpie, with 3,447 observed. For the second year running, Mountain (332), Black-capped (3,691), and Boreal Chickadee (68) topped the Canadian records at Banff-Canmore, Edmonton, and Sheep River, respectively. Only a solitary Pacific Wren was reported in Alberta, with that record coming from Lethbridge.
A Swainson’s Thrush reported in Calgary was a high-count for Canada, as was a Brown Thrasher in Lac La Biche. One Mountain Bluebird was reported for Calgary, the first of that species reported during a Christmas Bird Count in Alberta.
After a few years of holding the North American records of both House Sparrow and Bohemian Waxwing, that title did not fall to Calgary, however the numbers were still impressive, with 6,999 and 859, respectively.
As per usual, Dark-eyed Juncos represented the sparrows with a large presence at 577, however White-throated Sparrow numbers jumped to 39. White-crowned Sparrow (8), Song Sparrow (5), and Harris’s Sparrow (3) made good showings, but the highlight of this family was a pair of Savannah Sparrows on the Blindline count. Red-winged, and Yellow-headed blackbirds were a notable absence this year, with only 4 Common Grackle, 1 Rusty, and 1 Brewer’s Blackbirds being reported, but Western Meadowlark were present in the highest numbers recorded in the province, from two count circles: Dinosaur Provincial Park (19), and Medicine Hat (2). Two Yellow-rumped Warblers were reported, one in Edmonton, and one in St. Albert, were noteworthy finds.
Finch numbers during the 121st Christmas Bird Count were respectable, but with a massive irruption in Eastern Canada of redpolls and grosbeaks, the 3,534 Pine Grosbeaks and 7,930 Common Redpolls were scattered throughout the province in numbers only slightly higher than average, but impressive nonetheless.
Atlantic Canada (NB, NL, NS, PE) (en anglais)
By Jared Clarke
The 121st Christmas Bird Count season was a bright spot in a tumultuous year throughout most of Atlantic Canada, as it was everywhere. With a pandemic turning the world upside down, people increasingly took solace and comfort in nature – especially birding. The fresh air, wonderful birds and great camaraderie of CBCs took on new meaning for many. A relatively mild fall with plenty of winds from the south and west led to an array of vagrants and displaced migrants hanging on into winter, while the sudden onset of cold and snow in some areas concentrated birds within count circles. All in all, it was a season to remember.
A total of 88 counts were completed in the Atlantic region this season; with 43 in New Brunswick, 32 in Nova Scotia, 10 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 3 in Prince Edward Island. The number is up significantly from previous years, mainly due to a concerted effort by dedicated birders at Nature New Brunswick to have more of their provincial results submitted online. Involvement was also up with well over 2100 participants, ~1450 of which put in 3915 hours in the field. The bird tally was somewhat above average with 196 species recorded throughout the region (including a few count week observations) – due in no small part to a good number of rare and lingering species throughout.
Despite being rare in North America, Pink-footed Goose was recorded for the fourth straight season with a long-staying individual in St. John’s (NL). Other locally rare or uncommon geese included a Greater White-fronted Goose in Pictou Harbour (NS), Cackling Goose in Moncton (NB) and several Snow Geese in NS & NB. A Tundra Swan was also among the highlights at Cape Sable Island (NS). The 52 Tufted Duck tallied in St. John’s (NL) was relatively low for the circle compared to recent years, and the only other individual for the region was at Antigonish (NS). A Redhead in Glace Bay (NS) and a Ruddy Duck at Halifax-Dartmouth (NS) were also regionally rare. A record high 16 Barrow’s Goldeneye in NF included a notable count of nine in the Stephenville area.
Shorebird diversity was down significantly from last season with a more typical six species recorded, mostly in NS. Perhaps the most notable was a lingering Willet, recorded as the western race, at Broad Cove (NS). Purple Sandpipers were slightly below average with 99 in NS and 300 in NL. Killdeer, Black-bellied Plover, Sanderling and Dunlin rounded out the tally.
The elusive Gray Partridge put in a showing with 7 spotted on the PEI National Park count. This species has been extirpated from NS, but continues to keep a small yet firm foothold on the island. A total of 161 Wild Turkeys were recorded on five counts in NB, the bulk from St. Stephens (on the border with Maine) and nearby Mactaquac – the only established population in the region. Willow Ptarmigan were recorded in four different circles in NL, including five in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Diurnal raptors are always a highlight, and this year was no exception. A Black Vulture in Pictou Harbour (NS) was regionally rare, but showing up in the Maritimes with more frequency in recent years. A total of 157 Turkey Vultures were also spotted in the province, along with 28 in neighbouring NB. Bald Eagles continue to increase in the region, with 1908 individuals reported across all four provinces. The number of late and/or wintering Broad-winged Hawks in the region appears to be growing, with five reported in NS and another in NB this season. A Gyrfalcon seen during count week in Sackville (NB) was the only one this season and always an exciting find.
Not to be outshone, seven species of owl were reported throughout the region including 33 Great Horned, 28 Barred, 9 Northern Saw-whet, 21 Short-eared, and a single Long-eared. A Great Gray Owl in Stanley (NB) was very notable. It was another low year for Snowy Owl with just 4, while Boreal Owl was once again missed altogether. Woodpeckers put in a typical showing across the region, although a Red-Headed Woodpecker in Memramcook-Hillsborough (NB) was a local rarity and an American Three-toed Woodpecker in Bonne Bay (NL) is notable since it often goes unrecorded during the season.
A surprising five species of wren were recorded in the region this season, including an exceptionally out-of-range Rock Wren in Halifax-Dartmouth (NS) – perhaps the rarest bird recorded in the region this season. Carolina Wren has become expected in recent years and were recorded in a total of seven circles across NS & NB this year. Two Winter Wrens, two House Wrens and a single Marsh Wren round out the count.
Rare and lingering warblers are often a “prize” of the season in Atlantic Canada, and there was notable diversity this year. A total of twelve species were recorded, including good numbers of expected species such as Pine (47), Yellow-rumped (30) and Orange-crowned Warblers (14), along with Yellow-breasted Chat (11). Other warblers throughout the region included Palm (6), Common Yellowthroat (6), Wilson’s (2), Tennessee (2), Yellow (1), Black-and-White (1), Cape May (1) and American Redstart (1). The only lingering vireo was a single Blue-headed Vireo in Yarmouth, NS.
Other lingering birds of note in the region included a Sandhill Crane (NS), nine American Coots (NS & NL), two Eastern Towhee (NB & NS), 14 Hermit Thrush (NB, NS & NL), 15 Northern Mockingbirds (NS & NL), 64 Brown-headed Cowbirds (PEI) and 20 Baltimore Oriole (NB, NS & NL). Nearly 1800 Northern Cardinals were recorded across this region this season, including 2 in NL where they remain a rare visitor at any time of year.
Notable birds in the region at any season included a Common Gallinule (NL), Little Gull (NS), Townsend’s Solitaire (NS), Blue-grey Gnatcatcher (NS), Western Tanager (NS), Brown Thrasher (NB) and two Yellow-headed Blackbirds (NB & PEI). Locally uncommon sparrows also included a Lark Sparrow in Glace Bay (NS) and Clay-coloured Sparrow in Hillsborough (PEI). A “yellow-bellied” kingbird in Lunenberg (NS) was not identified to species but would certainly have been a rare record.
With finch irruptions being reported all over the continent this season, it is not surprising that numbers were all over the board in this region. Pine Grosbeak (1880), Common Redpoll (12,831) and Evening Grosbeak (9,935) were up significantly from last season and reflecting huge incursions seen into other parts of southern Canada and the northern United States. White-winged (1476) and Red Crossbills (195) showed more moderate increases, while Purple Finch (272) and Pine Siskin (694) were down from last year – perhaps as many had moved to points further south. American Goldfinch remained stable with 11,059 individuals recorded, indicating that they remain more or less resident throughout the region. House Finch continues to increase in NB & NS where a total of 219 were reported. House Sparrow numbers remained relatively stable at 1540, although anecdotally they continue to decline in many places.
British Columbia (en anglais)
By Yousif Attia
A total of 87 Christmas Bird Counts in British Columbia (BC) submitted data for the 121st (2020-21). Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, most counts were safely conducted taking precautionary measures and not holding in-person gatherings. One previously unregistered count, Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, was welcomed during the 121st. Sunday, December 20 was the day most counts took place (19), followed by Sunday, December 27 (17), and Saturday, December 19 (11). Victoria had the most counters in the field (265), followed by Galiano-North Saltspring (135), and Pender Islands (130). Parksville-Qualicum Beach had the most Feeder Counters (76), an increase compared the year previous (59), followed by Victoria (54) and Creston (29).
A total of 1,024,335 individual birds of 224 species were tallied by 2828 field counters and 719 feeder counters. Victoria was the top count with 143 species on count day, an increase of 8 species compared to last year. Seven species only detected during Count Week include: Common Pochard (Parksville-Qualicum Beach), Gray Partridge (Peachland), Cattle Egret (Cortes Island), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Vernon), Black-backed Woodpecker (100 Mile House, Cranbrook, Golden, Prince George, Rossland-Warfield), Barn Swallow (Victoria), and Common Yellowthroat (White Rock-Surrey-Langley). The top 10 most abundant species in BC, in order of most to least abundant were: Pine Siskin, Mallard, European Starling, Canada Goose, Dark-eyed Junco, American Wigeon, Glaucous-winged Gull, Dunlin, American Robin, and Snow Goose. Bald Eagle and Common Raven were the only species reported on all counts.
Weather during counts in BC was mild in general. Fourteen circles reported precipitation during both the morning and afternoon on count day. Penticton enjoyed a count day high of 14 degrees Celsius while neighboring Peachland took place nine days later and reported the coldest low temperature on count day (-11 Celsius). Five counts (Big White, Golden, Nelson, Smithers, and Yoho N.P.) reported maximum snow depths of one meter or more, with Nelson again on top as the snowiest circle.
Species and notes
Mallard (79,416) was the most abundant waterfowl species reported in BC, followed by Canada Goose (60,650), American Wigeon (54,575), Snow Goose (21,309), and Bufflehead (14,323). Chilliwack set a Canadian all time high record for Cackling Goose (6153), a species that seem to be observed in increasing numbers during winter in the Fraser Valley. The count week female Common Pochard at Parsksville-Qualicum Beach was new for the Canadian Species list. Remarkably, a male was at Victoria circle up to only one month prior. Greater Masset was the only circle to report “Eurasian” Green-winged Teal, compared to two from as many circles last year.
Three Dusky Grouse at Penticton was a North American high count. Victoria, Sidney-South Saltspring, Comox, Cortes Island, Galiano North Saltspring, and Powell River had Canadian high counts of all the grebes. The most abundant grebe species was Horned (3063), followed by Red-necked (1496) and Western (1340).
A count week Cattle Egret at Cortes Island was the only noteworthy heron. Parskville-Qualicum Beach had the highest count for Pacific Loons (721) in North America. Common Murre was the most widely reported and abundant alcid (2849), closely followed by Ancient Murrelet (2668). One Cassin’s Auklet at Bamfield was the only one reported. Parksville-Qualicum Beach reported the highest number of Ancient Murrelets in North America. Sooke had the North American high count for Brandt’s Cormorant while Victoria again had the highest count of Pelagic Cormorant.
The only reported Whimbrel was at Deep Bay, and White Rock-Surrey-Langley set a count high of 9 Marbled Godwits. Ladner’s 33, 255 Dunlin were a high count for North America, a reminder of the importance of the Fraser Estuary for this species. Another North American high count was Surfbirds at Nanaimo. Penticton recorded the highest number of California Gulls in Canada, and also a new high for the count.
Penticton also reported the Canadian high count for Golden Eagles (9) while Terrace had the North American high count for Northern Goshawk (5). Bald Eagle (8146) was the most abundant species of raptor, followed by Red-tailed Hawk (1192), Cooper’s Hawk (294), Northern Harrier (221), and Sharp-shinned Hawk (186). Three circles reported “Harlan’s” Red-tailed Hawk in the province: Oliver-Osoyoos, Armstrong-Enderby, and Lake Country. A total of 425 owls of 10 species was in increase compared to 343 individuals of 11 species during the 120th. Surprisingly, Northern Pygmy-Owls (93) outnumbered Barred Owls (76) in BC, but that could have been due in part to the absence of Vancouver. No Snowy Owls were reported on count day or count week in BC.
Another year, and another record all-time high count for Anna’s Hummingbird (1,331) in Victoria as the species continues to increase elsewhere in the province. The only Rufous Hummingbird in BC was at Squamish. One Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was a pleasant surprise at Ladner while Black-backed Woodpecker was not detected on Count Day despite being recorded on Count Week by five circles. The only Prairie Falcon on Count Day in BC was at Oliver-Osoyoos and Pitt Meadows detected one for Count Week.
A Black Phoebe at Victoria might have been the rarest bird recorded on a Count Day. Western Scrub-Jays were at Squamish, Ladner, and Harrison River. A Northern Mockingbird was at Victoria on Count Day, while another was at Cranbrook for Count Week. A Count Week Barn Swallow was the only one swallow the province. Victoria had North American high counts for Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Pacific Wren, and Bewick’s Wren, which was also a new high count for the circle. Four out of the six Mountain Bluebirds in BC were at Vaseux Lake.
One Clay-coloured Sparrow at Comox was unusual and single Harris’s Sparrows were at Kelowna and Williams Lake. Victoria reported North American high counts for Fox Sparrow and Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco. A Bullock’s Oriole stuck it out until Count Day at Comox and single Common Grackles were at Dawson Creek and Prince George. Notable warblers were one Count Week Common Yellowthroat at White Rock-Surrey-Langley, one Palm Warbler at Parksville-Qualicum Beach, and single Wilson’s Warblers at Chilliwack and Kelowna. Kelowna and Penticton both had single Lesser Goldfinches, but the most impressive finch highlight was the invasion of Pine Siskins in the province, the most counted bird of the 2020-21 CBC.
Manitoba (en anglais)
By Robert Parsons
The 2020/21 Christmas Bird Count was perhaps most memorable for response to the coronavirus. Three counts were canceled for health and safety concerns, while most of the remainder imposed limits on participants. While this resulted in fewer hours of observation for many counts, a few fielded their usual number of field parties (although often reduced size of parties) and some had high totals of species, if not of individual birds.
Weather may have been somewhat of a factor in the counts—where mentioned, it was mostly pleasant. By my publication deadline, 15 counts had reported, with probably three more in the pipeline. Thank you to those compilers who reported their counts in a timely manner, as it makes this much easier to summarize. Because of reduced count effort, and the tardy count results the summary will be briefer than usual.
Winnipeg, as usual, led the species count at 49, nine higher than last year.
At publication deadline, the species total was 74 species and one hybrid on count day, with five additional species recorded as count week only (seen on at least one of the three days preceding or following the count, but missed on count day itself).
Some of the more unusual waterfowl species included an American Black Duck, three Buffleheads and a Common Merganser at Winnipeg, and single Common Goldeneyes at Pinawa & Winnipeg.
The Pas had the only Spruce Grouse, but found three of them.
A Great Blue Heron was at Winnipeg, a first for them.
A Sharp-shinned Hawk was recorded in count week at Portage la Prairie.
Winnipeg had the only Eastern Screech-Owls, a total of three. Snowy Owls were scarce, recorded on only two counts, with singles at Delta Marsh and Portage. A Barred Owl was found on count week at Winnipeg. Great Gray Owls were found on three counts, Dauphin (with two), Hodgson & Pinawa (with five). A Boreal Owl was found on count week at Riding Mountain.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers put on a strong showing, with four counts reporting them, including three at Winnipeg and singles at Balmoral, Morden and Portage.
Winnipeg had the only Merlins (with three) and a Gyrfalcon was seen at Hodgson.
A Carolina Wren was at a feeder in Winnipeg, and remained through much of the winter.
A Hermit Thrush was reported at Winnipeg. Varied Thrushes were seen on three counts, with singles at Delta Marsh, Pinawa and Winnipeg.
A Brown Thrasher was on the Pinawa CBC, frequenting the same feeder as the Varied Thrush.
Cedar Waxwings were a little more numerous than usual, and outnumbered Bohemians on a few counts, although the latter were more numerous overall.
An American Tree Sparrow was a count week record at The Pas. Other Sparrows included a Chipping Sparrow in Winnipeg, a White-crowned Sparrow at Gimli, a Song Sparrow at Delta Marsh and a Harris’s Sparrow in Winnipeg.
Purple Finches were all but absent, with a count week record at Winnipeg being the only one reported by my deadline.
Finally, at least one of the House x Eurasian Tree Sparrow hybrids continue to frequent the Winnipeg feeder where their parent resided for several years, and one was recorded on the count.
Thank you to all compilers and everyone who took part. Maybe next year will see a more usual count.
Ontario (en anglais)
By Mike Burrell
The COVID-19 Pandemic loomed large over the 121st CBC season in Ontario, with 17 counts from year 120 not completed this year. We did have one new count (welcome, Dunnville!) and Presqu’ile was back after a missed year for a total of 111 counts, down from 126 last year and the lowest total since the 110 in count year 114.
The weather patterns leading up to count day always plays a big role. This year, the entire province saw above average temperatures right through November and December encouraging larger than normal (though, increasingly becoming the new normal!) waterbirds and other lingering species.
Count day weather was again pretty comfortable this year, with an average low of -5.7° C and high of -1.1° C; about the same as the last couple of years. 51 counts had temperatures that cracked the freezing mark this year, which, while lower than last year’s 73, is very high. Blenheim was the hotspot with a count day high of 6° C. Last year three counts cracked +10° C!. Eagle River took the award for coldest Ontario CBC with a low of -26° C although Atikokan had the coldest “high” temperature of just -19° C. Sixteen counts reported no snow at all, down from 20 in year 120 and 30 in year 119 (but up from year 118 when all counts had snow). 73 counts (down from 78 last year) had a maximum snow depth of 10 cm or less, so it was an easy year for walking. Hearst had the deepest snow, with a maximum snow depth of 80 cm, and 11 counts had 30 cm or more.
There were 3233 observers in the field this year, down significantly from the ~3700 of the last two years (not surprising given the drop in counts due to COVID) but still the sixth best. Conversely, more people opted to stay home and do feeder counts, resulting in a record 1437 feeder counters, more than 300 better than the previous high (1173) set last year. Added together field and feeder counters, the 4670 was the third highest total ever. All those observers put in a very impressive, and record 8505.25 party hours. Observers logged a very impressive 66,271 km on count days, well shy of the totals of the past five or six years. For the fifth straight year Ottawa-Gatineau led the pack with the most field observers, this year with 164. Kingston again led the way for feeder counters with a whopping 136.
A total of 172 species were reported from all counts, seven below last year’s 179 (which happens to also be the average from the last eight years) but considering the missing counts included seven from the most southern and species-rich part of the province the total is actually quite good. The total increased by six with the addition of count week species (American White Pelican, Great Egret, Glaucous-winged Gull, Northern Hawk Owl, Swainson’s Thrush, and Black-throated Green Warbler).
Blenheim and Long Point have basically alternated for most species over the last several years and this year Long Point took the cake with a whopping 114 species. Blenheim (111) and Hamilton (106) where the other two counts in the 100 species club this year. Five other counts cracked 90 species: Toronto (94), West Elgin (94), Woodhouse Township (94), Oshawa (91), and St. Clair NWA (90). That’s about as good as we ever do, with the eight counts at 80+ tying year 118 for the most. In general, most counts reported above-average species totals, with 86 counts equaling or beating their average from the past six years and the “average count” up four species. This was likely thanks to a combination of many lingering birds and an excellent finch year. London (80), Ottawa-Gatineau (77), and Brantford (74) led the way for inland counts. Nipigon-Red Rock led the way among northern Ontario counts with 41, one better than Thunder Bay’s 40 species. Long Point led the way with an incredible 30 (!) provincial highs, which speaks to the incredible numbers of lingering birds there this year. Toronto was no slouch with 15 provincial highs followed by six counts with seven provincial highs each.
A total of 1,156,357 individuals were counted, down about 115,000 from the five-year average, but given the counts that didn’t run this year have a five year average of just shy of 200,000, it was actually an above-average year, thanks to some big counts of waterbirds. The top five species this year were Canada Goose (195,564), American Crow (141,993), European Starling (110,364), Black-capped Chickadee (65,080), and Mallard (64,065); after a dip last year, Black-capped Chickadee was firmly back in the top five.
It really was an over-all better than average count year, but despite that some species were noticeably down. The following 27 species were recorded in numbers of 50% or less of their 20-year average: Snow Goose (71), Greater Scaup (16,832), Lesser Scaup (321), Ruddy Duck (324), Ring-necked Pheasant (35), Spruce Grouse (1), Horned Grebe (34), Red-necked Grebe (30), Black-crowned Night-Heron (6), American Coot (702), Bonaparte’s Gull (282), Ring-billed Gull (15,961), Glaucous Gull (73), Great Black-backed Gull (646), Long-eared Owl (25), American Three-toed Woodpecker (2), Black-backed Woodpecker (7), Northern Mockingbird (94), American Pipit (44), Lapland Longspur (40), Yellow-rumped Warbler (25), Fox Sparrow (11), Eastern Meadowlark (2), Rusty Blackbird (40), Common Grackle (565), Brown-headed Cowbird (2315), and Purple Finch (214). Many those can be explained by key counts that didn’t run this year because of COVID; for example, most gull numbers were down but Niagara Falls count didn’t run. Similarly, species like Yellow-rumped Warbler, Fox Sparrow and the blackbirds are often recorded in good numbers from the Essex County counts which didn’t run. Others, like Ring-necked Pheasant, Rusty Blackbird, and Eastern Meadowlark are part of long-term downward trends.
As is usually the case, there were some big misses this year: Brewer’s Blackbird was missed for the third straight year but only the fourth time in the past twenty. House Wren was also missed for only the fourth time in the past twenty years. Gray Partridge, Brant, Vesper Sparrow, Townsend’s Solitaire, Boreal Owl, Virginia Rail, and Varied Thrush were all missed but have been recorded on at least half of the past twenty counts.
Conversely, there were some excellent counts recorded, even with fewer counts reporting. The following 39 (!) species reported counts of 50% or more of their 20-year average: Greater White-fronted Goose (7), Cackling Goose (72), Mute Swan (3587), Trumpeter Swan (1068), Tundra Swan (24,065), Wood Duck (62), Northern Shoveler (371), Green-winged Teal (63), Redhead (22,053), White-winged Scoter (7,660), Black Scoter (95), Hooded Merganser (1,463), Sharp-tailed Grouse (142), Turkey Vulture (220), Bald Eagle (1561), Sandhill Crane (6011), Barred Owl (148), Short-eared Owl (94), Red-bellied Woodpecker (1752), Pileated Woodpecker (886), Merlin (119), Black-billed Magpie (163), Fish Crow (4), Red-breasted Nuthatch (5334), White-breasted Nuthatch (8673), Winter Wren (199), Marsh Wren (16), Carolina Wren (539), Gray Catbird (23), Bohemian Waxwing (15,456), Orange-crowned Warbler (7), Common Yellowthroat (16), Northern Parula (2), Northern Cardinal (11,813), Red-winged Blackbird (7,312), Red Crossbill (343), Common Redpoll (45,719), Hoary Redpoll (189), and Evening Grosbeak (3942).
Thirteen of those species also set new record highs: Mute Swan (3,587 vs 3,155), Trumpeter Swan (1,068 vs 849), Turkey Vulture (220 vs 189), Sandhill Crane (6,011 vs 3,717), Merlin (119 vs 102), Fish Crow (4 vs 1), Red-breasted Nuthatch (5,334 vs 4,805), White-breasted Nuthatch (8,673 vs 8,371), Carolina Wren (539 vs 521), Bohemian Waxwing (15,456 vs 15,074), Northern Parula (2 vs 1), Northern Cardinal (11,813 vs 10,702), Common Redpoll (45,719 vs 41,953), and Hoary Redpoll (189 vs 162).
Those are long lists, but the species fall into a couple categories: first, many waterfowl were well above average. Next, we see some irruptive species (e.g. Barred Owl, the nuthatches, and finches) and finally are some species showing long-term increasing trends, plus a few other interesting one-offs. Some of those counts are especially impressive when one considers the key counts that were missing this year. Northern Cardinal jumps out as an interesting one as there was a huge irruption of them noticed in the north, but from the totals it is clear the entire province was seeing much more than usual.
As mentioned above, irruptive species had big years in Ontario. Just the fact Bohemian Waxwing, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and both redpolls had record years makes that apparent but Evening Grosbeak and Red Crossbill both were also well up with both having their second-best year in the past twenty. Pine Grosbeak was about 20% above the twenty-year average and White-winged Crossbill had about the fifth best year of the past 20. Pine Siskin was about average and as is often the case in big finch flight years, Purple Finches pretty well completely vacated the province before the county period began. Northern Owls were a different story; Boreal Owl was missed; Northern Hawk Owl was only recorded during count week while Great Gray Owl had a decent year with 13 (highest since the 24 in count year 113). Northern Saw-whet Owl was slightly above average at 15.
There are always some exciting finds on CBCs, and this year was no exception. Two new species were added to the all-time Ontario CBC list: Scott’s Oriole (a male at a feeder in the Hanover-Walkerton circle) and a Glaucous-winged Gull during count week on the Sault Ste. Marie count). The latter represents the first record all-time for Ontario. Other good finds were two Norther Parulas on Peel-Halton (just one prior CBC record), two Fish Crows on both Peel-Halton and St. Catharines (just one prior CBC record), a Slaty-backed Gull on Toronto (two previous records), a Pacific Loon on Hamilton (seven previous records), Black Vulture on Sandbanks (just 11 prior CBC records), and a Palm Warbler on Toronto (12 previous records).
All in all, it was another excellent CBC season here in Ontario with highs, lows, and everything in between. Here’s to all the hard work the huge team of volunteers put in to making the count a success and for another good year in count year 122-it’s just around the corner!
Saskatchewan (en anglais)
By Guy Wapple
There were 39 Saskatchewan CBCs submitted, a decrease of five from last year. This was undoubtedly a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In spite of that unpleasant situation, the counts went on, albeit with safety protocols in place.
The weather was generally cooperative throughout much of the count period. However, the first few days were chilly.
Gardiner Dam was done on Dec. 14th, hoping to take advantage of the mild fall conditions leading up to the CBC. Unfortunately, the observers had to deal with the coldest temperature the entire count period, at minus 20 C. The resulting fog from still-open Lake Diefenbaker, combined with light snow throughout the day made conditions challenging to say the least! The weather generally improved shortly afterwards, with fairly mild conditions prevailing during the remainder of count period. The warmest temperature was at Val Marie, which reached a balmy plus 6 C! Actually, the average minimum and maximum temperatures were the same as last year: -11 to -6 C, with wind speeds 9 to 20 km/h, vs 8 to 16 km/h. However, thanks to an early November blizzard, snow depth was considerably greater at 12 to 25 cms (5 to 12 cm in 2019).
For the first time since 2014, Saskatoon won the provincial crown for the most species at 44. Runner-up was Regina with 36 (plus 7 cw) species, with Gardiner Dam close behind at 35. Balgonie (30 plus 2 cw), Clark’s Crossing (29 plus 4 cw), Prince Albert (28 plus 8 cw), Estevan (28 plus 7 cw), Fort Qu’Appelle (28 plus 6 cw), Moose Jay (26 plus 5 cw), Qu’Appelle (28 plus 3) were other counts breaking the magic 30 species mark. The average species result increased slightly from last year to 23 species on count day, with 25.5 found during count week.
Having said all that, this was still a fairly decent CBC year in Saskatchewan. There were 91 species recorded: 87 on Count Day, plus 4 seen only during count week: Barred Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Townsend’s Solitaire and Cedar Waxwing. This was a very slight increase over 2019’s effort, which saw 90 species tallied. However, there were few rarities were recorded. An Eastern Bluebird seen on the Balgonie Count was the most unusual. The only previous Sask CBC record was two birds seen during count period at Craven in 1998. Other notable species included only the fifth Hermit Thrush (Saskatoon) and seventh Lincoln’s Sparrow (Harris).
Waterfowl were generally found in normal numbers, with the exception of two new provincial high counts established for Canada Geese and Common Goldeneye. There were 13 waterfowl species recorded, which was two less than last year. Cackling Goose were present at Estevan (75), Gardiner Dam (5) and Regina (1). Estevan established a new CBC record with an amazing total of 61.700 Canada Geese!!! This obliterated their previous high count of 33,775, which was established just last year! 8 Canadas at E.B. Campbell Dam, northeast of Nipawin were also notable. For the fourth consecutive year a male Wood Duck successfully overwintered at Regina! A male American Wigeon far to the north at E.B. Campbell, was new to the count and the only bird reported this year. A Northern Pintail was noted at Qu’Appelle Valley Dam (QVD). Gardiner Dam had the only Redhead, while Lesser Scaup were only seen at Gardiner and Saskatoon. Very rare in winter, the only Long-tailed Duck was at E.B. Campbell, which was also a new count species. Bufflehead sightings included 4 at Estevan and 5 at Gardiner. Common Goldeneye were reported from 9 areas, with an impressive 1032 at Saskatoon, a new SK CBC record. Hooded Mergansers were present at Gardiner (5, a record count record there) and Saskatoon (1), while Common Mergs were only seen at Gardiner (60) and Swift Current (1).
Sharp-tailed and Ruffed Grouse, along with Gray Partridge populations, remained relatively stable. Ring-necked Pheasants were recorded from six areas, including a decent total of 64 at Estevan. Spruce Grouse were noted at Candle Lake (3), as well as a well-documented bird far south of its normal range at Qu’Appelle!
Most raptor species were generally below normal numbers this winter. In a repeat of 2019, Northern Goshawks again staged a minor invasion of southern Saskie. They were recorded on 6 counts, with an additional ten cw observations. Sharp-shinned Hawks declined slightly to four localities, compared to six last year. Always a surprise during the winter months, single Red-tailed Hawks turned up at QVD and Swift Current, with cw birds at Craven and Moose Jaw. There were 16 Rough-legged Hawks on five counts (plus one cw), which was a substantial increase over last year’s total of three birds. Nine Golden Eagles were reported in three areas, including 6 on the Val Marie CBC. Bald Eagles rebounded nicely compared to last year with 89 birds on 21 counts, plus three during count week. As usual, Gardiner led the way with an impressive 51 birds.
Also as usual, the only American Coots seen were 20 on Boundary Reservoir, just south of Estevan. There was an amazing concentration of 32 Herring Gulls at Gardiner Dam, smashing the previous CBC record of 8 set here back in 1988. A single Glaucous Gull was among them. It was the 17th time this Arctic visitor has been recorded at Gardiner.
Eurasian Collared-Dove numbers appear to have peaked. There was a slight population decline compared to last year, with 347 individuals reported from 21 areas. After nada sightings last year, Mourning Doves turned up at Saltcoats (1) and Whitewood (2).
Great Horned Owl numbers declined slightly, with 13 at Morse leading the way. Snowy Owls visited elsewhere this CBC season, with only 30 birds reported from 11 areas, plus 4 during cw. A few “northern” owls also were noted. Single count week Northern Hawk Owls were found at Clark’s Crossing (well south of the Boreal Forest) and E.B. Campbell. There also were three cw Barred Owls, including one far south of the normal range at Biggar, where it appeared for the first time in 50 CBCs! Great Gray Owls staged a minor eruption into the parkland, with 9 birds on 4 counts, plus one during cw at Love. The latter location also reported the only Boreal Owl. Northern Saw-whets appeared on two CBCs.
Both Downy and Hairy Woodpecker numbers remained stable. American 3-toeds were seen in three areas, with a decent total of 6 at Prince Albert National Park (PANP). Black-backeds turned up on four CBCs, plus one during count week. PANP found six of them as well! Northern Flicker numbers were nearly double last total with 43 birds on 10 counts. Pileated numbers were up slightly from 2019, with 23 birds on ten counts, plus five more cw observations.
Merlin numbers doubled from last year to 16 birds from 7 localities. Always a treat, Gyrfalcons thrilled observers at Gardiner, Harris and Morse, as well as one cw report from Prince Albert. A Peregrine was at Qu’Appelle, while Prairie Falcons totalled four birds on three counts.
After good numbers the past three CBC seasons, Northern Shrike numbers dropped back to just 8 birds on 6 counts, with 5 reported during count week. Corvid numbers remained stable, with both Black-billed Magpie and Common Ravens reported from all circles. American Crow numbers were up with 13 birds in 5 areas. With the increase in snow cover compared to last year, it was not a surprise that Horned Lark numbers dropped dramatically. They were found on only 12 CBCs.
Black-capped Chickadee numbers increased significantly, with 4088 from 38 areas, with a jump of nearly one thousand individuals. Boreal Chickadee numbers were down slightly with 67 on 6 counts. Red-breasted Nuthatches staged a minor eruption, with 838 birds in 34 circles. Their White-breasted cousins also increased slightly compared to last season. Golden-crowned Kinglets dropped considerably, with the only reports coming from Saskatoon (1) and Shell Lake (2), as well as a cw bird at Prince Albert. Brown Creeper numbers were slightly lower with 18 birds noted on five CBCs, with one during cw. As mentioned earlier, a male Eastern Bluebird survived to be counted at Balgonie for only the second Sask CBC record. Sadly, but not unexpectedly, it succumbed during an extended bitter cold snap on February 9.
The only Townsend’s Solitaire report were count week birds at Estevan and Regina. Saskatchewan’s fifth CBC Hermit Thrush was well-described at Saskatoon. For the 4th consecutive CBC, American Robin numbers were low with only 25 birds reported from 11 areas, plus three during count week. Always a pleasant surprise, single Varied Thrushes turned up at Regina and Saskatoon, with a cw bird at Val Marie.
European Starlings showed up on 18 counts – with 5 during count week – but numbers were fewer when compared to last year. Bohemian Waxwings bounced back compared to the past two years with 6859 reported from 21 circles, with four more cw reports. However, the only Cedars were recorded during count week at Fort Qu’Appelle. Snow Bunting numbers rebounded from 2019, with 7969 on 35 counts. The only American Tree Sparrows were 5 found at Qu’Appelle. Dark-eyed Juncos were up slightly with 136 from 21 circles. Apparently no ‘Oregon’ types were noted among them this season. The Zonotrichia family was well-represented. White-crowned Sparrows were seen at Balgonie (1) and Pike Lake (2). There was a single Harris’s at Morse, with the more-expected White-throated on 6 counts, plus one cw bird at Biggar. The latter was new to their 50-year CBC list. It should be noted that Prince Albert counters found an amazing total of 18 White-throats, a new provincial CBC record!
Red-winged Blackbirds showed up in four areas, which is about average. The individual at Harris was new to their CBC list. After Estevan recorded a new-to-their-CBC-list count week Western Meadowlark last year, this time they found one on count day! Following no reports last year, single Rusty Blackbird’s turned up at Biggar, Gardiner Dam and Morse. Common Grackles were noted at Clark’s Crossing (3), Morse (1) and Saskatoon (2). A single Brown-headed Cowbird was a surprise at Eastend.
Winter finch numbers generally increased this CBC season. Pine Grosbeak numbers almost tripled compared to last year, with 878 reported from 24 counts, plus three more cw observations. While House Finches were reported from 17 areas – the same as 2019 – their numbers more than doubled to 1372 individuals. Purple Finches were recorded at Fort Qu’Appelle (1) and Whitewood (6), with two more sightings during cw. The only Red Crossbill reports came from Balgonie (31) and Floral (11). However, their White-winged cousins were up substantially with 617 birds on 13 counts, plus three more areas during count week. Common Redpoll numbers almost tripled, with 1850 from 32 areas and one cw record. Only 8 Hoarys were found in four circles, plus two in count week. Pine Siskin populations declined to half the number compared to last season, with 151 on 10 counts, plus two cw reports. In the meantime, American Goldfinch numbers were also down slightly, with 28 birds in 8 areas, plus two during cw. A most pleasant surprise was the number of Evening Grosbeak reports. There were 1120 birds seen in 11 areas, nearly doubling the total from 2019. Love hosted a most impressive 410 individuals!
While I personally feel House Sparrows have declined since I began birding in 1973, there still were 24,234 reported from 36 circles. When compared to last year, this was a substantial increase of just over 4000 individuals!