Record Christmas Bird Count

Tom Moore

A record number of birds were spotted on this year’s Christmas Bird Count. There were 2,726 birds and 40 different species. Some of the notable birds: two eagles, a Cooper’s hawk, two robins, 162 wild turkeys, nine golden-crowned kinglets, 16 cardinals, one brown creeper, three common goldeneye ducks, three tufted titmice, a brown thrasher, a red-bellied woodpecker and a white-throated sparrow.

The previous high count was in 2001, with 2,432 birds and 34 species, but recent counts have resulted in a noticeable reduction in the bird population. The average tally for counts from 2015 to 2019 was 1195 birds with 30 species. The late arrival of a large flock of common mergansers and a few other ducks considerably boosted our count numbers. And the next day, the lake was frozen over, as it had been earlier in December.

The number of birds and species is particularly unusual considering the complete absence of the usual “winter finch” migrants.

This year’s Brome Lake Christmas Bird Count (31st) was held on the 18th of December, part of the Audubon Christmas Bird all over North and Central America and Mexico. Last year’s count wasn’t held due to Covid concerns. Audubon’s website: /bird/cbc has all the data on past bird counts by species and by count circle for anyone interested in trends in bird occurrences. (The Brome Lake count is listed under QCBL).

Thanks to all who participated. Don’t hesitate to call me with any questions or unusual sightings.

Tom Moore 514-946-2445