Birding Hot Spots


Birding Hot Spots
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Central Oklahoma
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Christmas Bird Count – 2011

We had a great Christmas Bird Count in 2011; 38 people in 15 parties participated.  We saw 119 different species, 1 additional race (Red-shafted Flicker), 1 additional race hybrid (Red/Yellow = “Orange-shafted” Flicker), and 2 additional species during Count Week (Snowy Egret and Common Yellowthroat). Anything over 110 species is a great count for us.  A species total of 119 is even more remarkable this year because numbers of most small land birds were way down.  In the words of longtime counter Ernie Wilson, “The birding was the worst in [the northeast Oklahoma City] area since Dave [Evans] and I started [many years ago].”

The low number of land birds was likely due to the drought last summer, which resulted in a decreased amount of seed produced by plants, leaving many seed-eating land birds with little food for the winter.  Bucking this trend, however, were Field Sparrows; we found 115, a new high for our count.  Also nice to see were 15 American Tree Sparrows (reports coming from 4 parties).

On the other hand, most duck numbers were quite high this year.  We had new high numbers for 4 duck species:  511 Northern Pintails, 499 Canvasbacks, 451 Ring-necked Ducks, and 342 Hooded Mergansers.  Some of the notable rarities were 2 Western Grebes, 9 Great Egrets, 2 Thayer’s Gull, 1 House Wren, and 12—yes 12—Eastern Phoebes (reports coming from 4 parties).

Thanks to all who participated on the count and in bringing food to the Count Tally Party.  A special thanks to Diane Newell and her friend Sally Coates who hosted the Tally Party at Diane’s house.  Also I would like to thank Pat Velte for data entry.

John Shackford, Compiler

Snow Goose 15
Cackling Goose 212
Canada Goose 4030
Wood Duck 28
Gadwall 349
American Wigeon 74
Mallard 965
Northern Shoveler 359
Northern Pintail 511
Green-winged Teal 89
Canvasback 499
Redhead 74
Ring-necked Duck 451
Greater Scaup 6
Lesser Scaup 144
Bufflehead 77
Common Goldeneye 82
Hooded Merganser 342
Common Merganser 391
Red-breasted Merganser 207
Ruddy Duck 110
Northern Bobwhite 1
Common Loon 15
Pied-billed Grebe 65
Horned Grebe 77
Western Grebe 2
American White Pelican 127
Double-crested Cormorant 285
Black-crowned Night-Heron 37
Great Blue Heron 101
Great Egret 9
Snowy Egret cw
Bald Eagle 1
Bald Eagle Adult 2
Northern Harrier 13
Sharp-shinned Hawk 4
Cooper’s Hawk 8
Accipter (sp) 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 8
Red-tailed Hawk 69
Ferruginous Hawk 1
Rough-legged Hawk 0
American Kestrel 22
American Coot 478
Killdeer 45
Greater Yellowlegs 18
Least Sandpiper 1
Wilson’s Snipe 20
Bonaparte’s Gull 216
Ring-billed Gull 7459
Herring Gull 128
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Thayer’s Gull 2
Forster’s Tern 18
Rock Pigeon 1913
Eurasian Collared-Dove 377
White-winged Dove 5
Mourning Dove 202
Eastern Screech-Owl 1
Great Horned Owl 5
Barred Owl 3
Belted Kingfisher 12
Red-headed Woodpecker 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 56
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 5
Downy Woodpecker 44
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 71
“N. Flicker, Yellow-shaft”
“N. Flicker, Red-shafted”
“N. Flicker, Orange-sh (hyb)”
Pileated Woodpecker 4
Eastern Phoebe 12
Blue Jay 205
American Crow 320
Horned Lark 239
Carolina Chickadee 178
Tufted Titmouse 47
Red-breasted Nuthatch 0
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
Brown Creeper 2
House Wren 1
Carolina Wren 52
Bewick’s Wren 9
Winter Wren 4
Marsh Wren 11
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 0
Eastern Bluebird 54
American Robin 725
Hermit Thrush 2
Northern Mockingbird 83
Brown Thrasher 2
European Starling 1644
American Pipit 0
Cedar Waxwing 18
Orange-crowned Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 100
Common Yellowthroat cw
Spotted Towhee 46
Eastern Towhee 1
American Tree Sparrow 15
Field Sparrow 115
Vesper Sparrow 4
Savannah Sparrow 73
LeConte’s Sparrow 3
Fox Sparrow 54
Song Sparrow 136
Lincoln’s Sparrow 2
Swamp Sparrow 11
White-throated Sparrow 17
Harris’s Sparrow 162
White-crowned Sparrow 49
Dark-eyed Junco 601
McCown’s Longspur 1
Lapland Longspur 315
Smith’s Longspur 67
Chestnut-collared Longspur 265
Northern Cardinal 254
Red-winged Blackbird 3832
Blackbird (sp) 10
Eastern Meadowlark 72
Western Meadowlark 22
Meadowlark (sp) 346
Common Grackle 406
Great-tailed Grackle 604
Brown-headed Cowbird 78
House Finch 108
Pine Siskin 0
American Goldfinch 273
House Sparrow 305
Species: (count day) 119
Total Birds 32914
Count Week:  Snowy Egret 1
Count Week:  Common Yellowthroat 1