2016 Christmas Bird Count – Stillwater, Oklahoma


The brainchild of ornithologist Frank Chapman at the American Museum of Natural History in 1900, the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count was among the first true citizen science endeavors. Today, with more than a century of data under our collective belt, the CBC provides some of the best data on long-term population trends for wintering birds in the US and Canada. For species that breed well north of the reach of the Breeding Bird Survey, the CBC provides our only systematic sample of populations.

Our Stillwater CBC was founded in 1947 by husband-and-wife ornithologists Fred and Marguerite Baumgartner. Their efforts, combined with the dedicated leadership and service of all the members and friends of the Payne County Audubon Society, have helped build a remarkable database that tracks bird populations and, by extension, habitat changes in our region.

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For just one example, check out this comparison of Loggerhead Shrike vs. Eurasian Collared Dove on our count over the last 30 years or so. (The abundance estimate on the vertical axis is birds/party-hour, which is a way to correct for the varying number of people participating year to year):

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The grassland-dependent Loggerhead Shrike has declined dramatically, especially within the last 15 years. In contrast, the urban-adapted Eurasian Collared Dove has recently colonized Stillwater and is steadily increasing in abundance.

2016 Christmas Bird Count Results!

The 117th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Counts have been completed. The Sooner Lake CBC was conducted on Monday, Dec. 19 and the Stillwater CBC on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

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Morning dawned pink, purple, and cold at Lake Carl Blackwell

Twenty-six people donated their time and talents to the Stillwater CBC, and we are grateful to each of them. Together, these volunteers tallied 22,018 individuals of approximately 106 species. We set new high counts for at least 29 species:

number Species Total number Species Total
1 Greater White-fronted Goose 41 55 Red-headed Woodpecker 8
2 Snow Goose 2 56 Red-bellied Woodpecker 63
3 Cackling Goose 634 57 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 31
4 Canada Goose 3820 58 Downy Woodpecker 58
5 swan sp. 1 59 Hairy Woodpecker 7
6 Wood Duck 6 60 Northern Flicker 92
7 Gadwall 682 61 Pileated Woodpecker 9
8 American Wigeon 98 62 American Kestrel 37
9 Mallard 1594 63 Merlin 4
10 Mallard (Domestic type) 7 64 falcon sp 1
11 Northern Shoveler 96 65 Eastern Phoebe 2
12 Blue-winged Teal 101 66 Loggerhead Shrike 3
13 Green-winged Teal 66 67 Blue Jay 456
14 Northern Pintail 11 68 American Crow 232
15 Canvasback 45 69 Carolina Chickadee 211
16 Redhead 184 70 Tufted Titmouse 46
17 Ring-necked Duck 49 71 Red-breasted Nuthatch 4
18 Lesser Scaup 14 72 White-breasted Nuthatch 31
19 Greater Scaup 2 73 Brown Creeper 8
20 Bufflehead 95 74 Winter Wren 3
21 Barrow’s Goldeneye 7 75 Sedge Wren 1
22 Common Goldeneye 22 76 Carolina Wren 86
23 Hooded Merganser 332 77 Bewick’s Wren 7
24 Common Merganser 186 78 Golden-crowned Kinglet 12
25 Ruddy Duck 26 79 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 16
26 duck sp. 62 80 Eastern Bluebird 287
27 Northern Bobwhite 6 81 Hermit Thrush 8
28 Wild Turkey 22 82 American Robin 3429
29 Common Loon 4 83 Northern Mockingbird 94
30 Pied-billed Grebe 24 84 European Starling 1907
31 Double-crested Cormorant 12 85 Cedar Waxwing 1147
32 American White Pelican 30 86 Yellow-rumped Warbler 164
33 Great Blue Heron 54 87 Chipping Sparrow 9
34 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 2 88 Field Sparrow 61
35 Northern Harrier 21 89 Fox Sparrow 13
36 Sharp-shinned Hawk 8 90 Dark-eyed Junco 679
37 Cooper’s Hawk 4 91 White-crowned Sparrow 14
38 Red-shouldered Hawk 39 92 Harris’s Sparrow 166
39 Red-tailed Hawk 119 93 White-throated Sparrow 52
40 Rough-legged Hawk 1 94 Savannah Sparrow 33
41 American Coot 112 95 Song Sparrow 166
42 Killdeer 11 96 Lincoln’s Sparrow 20
43 Least Sandpiper 8 97 Swamp Sparrow 4
44 Wilson’s Snipe 2 98 Spotted Towhee 27
45 Greater Yellowlegs 2 99 sparrow sp. 45
46 Ring-billed Gull 373 100 Northern Cardinal 208
47 Herring Gull 12 101 Red-winged Blackbird 401
48 Rock Pigeon 275 102 Eastern Meadowlark 203
49 Eurasian Collared-Dove 38 103 Western Meadowlark 46
50 Mourning Dove 422 104 Western/Eastern Meadowlark 275
51 Greater Roadrunner 5 105 Brewer’s Blackbird 562
52 Great Horned Owl 15 106 Common Grackle 40
53 Barred Owl 7 107 Great-tailed Grackle 8
54 Belted Kingfisher 21 108 Brown-headed Cowbird 362
109 House Finch 23
110 Purple Finch 16
111 American Goldfinch 91
112 House Sparrow 198

The seven(!) Barrow’s Goldeneyes reported from Lake McMurtry win the rarity prize for this count, but without photos they’re likely to be omitted in the records review process. We also had some great “count week” birds (those observed within 3 days before or after the count, but not on the count day itself): Brown Pelican, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and Red-breasted Merganser (all from Boomer Lake).

 

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This entry was posted in birding, birds/nature, Christmas Bird Count, environment, life, National Audubon Society, nature deficit disorder, No Child Left Inside, Partners in Flight, Payne County Audubon Society, population monitoring, wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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