2018 Waterloo Recreation Area 50th annual Christmas Bird Count
by Gary Siegrist
Hard to believe that JAS has been contributing to the National Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count continuously for fifty years. It’s a great achievement for our members and shows the dedication we have had to citizen science and the importance of monitoring birds in our area.
With little snow and a gray day one can imagine how hard it is to see birds, but surprisingly overall bird number were good for 2018 CBC with 9,982 total birds counted on the Waterloo State Recreation Area count. The 65 different bird species found on December 15th is a very good number. We had 28 observers participating this year plus two feeder watchers.
Total hours in the field was recorded at 71 hours and we had a total of 446.25 miles driven. Nocturnal birding had 9.80 hours and 82.60 miles logged.
Owls noted were Eastern Screech (14), Great Horned (9), and Barred (1). Good numbers of raptors were seen this year including Bald Eagle (8), Golden Eagle (1), Northern Harrier (1), Sharp-shinned Hawk (2), Cooper’s Hawk (3), Red-shouldered Hawk (1), Red-tailed Hawk (41), Rough-legged Hawk (2), and American Kestrel (7). Wow, what a great group list!
High numbers were chronicled for Trumpeter Swans (8), Red-headed Woodpecker (16), Bald Eagle (8), Brown Creeper (10), and Brown-headed Cowbird (211). Lower than average numbers were Wild Turkey (21), American Tree Sparrow (108), Dark-eyed Junco (209), American Goldfinch (108), and House Sparrow (263).
We did have one unusual species with Golden Eagle (1), this is the 7th time a GOEA has been spotted on the Waterloo CBC. Other bird species of note seen this year include Sandhill Crane (1212), Northern Shrike (1), Northern Mockingbird (3), and Eastern Towhee (1).
This also marks the last time Don & Robyn Henise will be volunteering for our CBC. They are planning on moving to another part of the USA this summer as Don is retiring. Please wish them well and thank them for their many hours of service to Jackson Audubon. Don’s upgrading the way the CBC is compiled and recorded has been invaluable. Their hours spent leading trips, and finding great birds for the rest of us is just a small part of how important they have been to birding in Jackson and Michigan. Don and Robyn, you will be missed!
I want to thank everyone that participated in the 50th Jackson Audubon CBC and please save the date for next year’s count, on December 21st, 2019. If you would like to joins us next year for the fun, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Waterloo count or national information, www.christmasbirdcount.org , and select Waterloo State Recreation Area, MIWA is the code.