Benzie Audubon Club

2016 Christmas Bird Count 

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With frigid temperatures, blowing snow and poor visibility, this was a difficult day for a bird count. Most inland lakes were frozen, and even on open water ducks were hard to find. Raptors were conspicuous by their absence, and some areas on back roads were inaccessible. But when all was said and done, our 27 observers (18 in the field and 9 at home) had seen 51 species, as well as three "count week" birds.

Hats off to our crew of Leonard, Alice and Pat, as they tallied Lesser Scaup, White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck and Hooded Merganser on Lake Michigan. Brian also worked the lakes and added Greater Scaup.

At Crystal Lake Dreeszens and Jacksons came up with three Horned Grebes and a Cooper's Hawk. On the small patch of open water on Platte Lake, John's crew found three Trumpeter Swans. In Honor Tim saw our only Eastern Bluebirds. Larry found an American Robin, as did the Cooks (along with a flock of Cedar Waxwings). Allen registered the day's only Brown Creeper and also added Belted Kingfisher as a count week species.



Staying close to home Carl and Ginny had a number of species that were hard to come by, including Tundra Swan, Ruffed Grouse, Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Flicker. At home they also saw what was probably our "best" bird of the day--the Gray Catbird pictured to the left.

We ended our count day with the traditional potluck supper and tally. In the next two days John and Char were able to add Rough-legged Hawk and Red-winged Blackbird as count week species.

Checklist

Species

Number or cw

Flags

Maximum #

# Of Counts

Comments

Canada Goose

74

661 in 1999

41

Mute Swan

30

96 in 2009

43

Trumpeter Swan

6

9 in 2015

11

Tundra Swan

5

289 in 2005

17

American Black Duck

10

180 in 1977

42

Mallard

127

703 in 1997

43

Greater Scaup

28

3510 in 2002

28

Lesser Scaup

2

243 in 1990

27

White-winged Scoter

7

79 in 2009

32

Long-tailed Duck

2

266 in 2003

25

Bufflehead

22

688 in 2002

43

Common Goldeneye

380

2908 in 2008

43

Hooded Merganser

3

64 in 1987

37

Common Merganser

154

714 in 1977

43

Red-breasted Merganser

36

185 in 2008

34

Ruffed Grouse

5

50 in 1976

43

Wild Turkey

124

261 in 2009

32

Horned Grebe

3

82 in 1997

40

Cooper's Hawk

1

2 in 2014

26

Accipiter sp.

1

2 in 2006

17

Bald Eagle

10*

28 in 2011

29

*6 adult

Red-tailed Hawk

1

8 in 2003

24

Rough-legged Hawk

cw

16 in 1999

27

Ring-billed Gull

16

3868 in 1995

43

Herring Gull

62

1909 in 1979

43

gull sp.

18

6125 in 1974

43

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)

90

96 in 2007

42

Mourning Dove

155

487 in 2010

43

Belted Kingfisher

cw

8 in 1974

38

Red-bellied Woodpecker

32

62 in 2009

42

Downy Woodpecker

36

97 in 2009

43

Hairy Woodpecker

33

89 in 2009

43

Northern Flicker (Yellow- shafted)

2

6 in 2011

26

Pileated Woodpecker

14

44 in 2010

43

Blue Jay

126

672 in 1996

43

American Crow

148

530 in 2001

43

Common Raven

54

84 in 20013

33

Black-capped Chickadee

265

1247 in 1994

43

Tufted Titmouse

61

85 in 2010

42

Red-breasted Nuthatch

18

98 in 1980

43

White-breasted Nuthatch

39

140 in 1993

43

Brown Creeper

1

10 in 1982

41

Golden-crowned Kinglet

9

37 in 2008

42

Eastern Bluebird

4

42 in 2005

12

American Robin

8

504 in 1998

37

Gray Catbird

1

1 in 2016

6

European Starling

191

802 in 2008

43

Cedar Waxwing

84

1807 in 1984

41

American Tree Sparrow

24

112 in 1998

43

Dark-eyed Junco

157

239 in 2013

8

Northern Cardinal

52

128 in 2000

43

Red-winged Blackbird

cw

2 in 1996

9

House Finch

42

293 in 1996

29

Purple Finch

17

169 in 1998

41

American Goldfinch

209

1148 in 1988

43

House Sparrow

40

248 in 2009

42

Total Individuals

3039

Total Species Reported

51

cw = Reported count week

3

 

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