121st Audobon Christmas Bird Count Species List

Date: Sunday, December 20, 2020 

Location: Pitkin County Varied Locations

 

On Sunday, December 20, 2020, 13 veteran CBC volunteers spent a total of 20.25 hours in the field recording bird observations for the 121st Audubon Christmas Bird Count.  Working with Pitkin County covid safety regulations, we eliminated the usual morning gathering at ACES for a briefing on count methods.  Instead, birders with CBC experience registered and were organized online by compiler Rebecca Weiss and ACES Community Programs Senior Manager Phebe Meyers.  With their forms printed and territories assigned, birders went into the field and tallied all of the birds they observed on count day.  These birders and others also reported "count week' species that were observed during the three days before and after count day, in order to capture a record of species that were not observed on count day. 

 

Fifty species were observed on count day, plus four count week species.  A total of 139 miles were covered by car, foot, and ski.  Although we all missed the social component, especially the traditional lunch at Woody Creek Tavern, we all had fun and a few birders were even able to bird together/distanced to share part of the day.  Highlights from this year's count include a juniper titmouse (thanks to Bryan Gieszl and John Anderson's pre-scouting work!) and Lewis's woodpeckers; and by wonderful surprise, Catherine Hagen observed the first gray-crowned rosy-finch to visit her porch feeders on CBC morning.  Overall, our effort and total species are only slightly below the non-covid average.  Many thanks to all who participated, and a special thanks to Snowmass Snow Safety for counting ptarmigans.  We already look forward to our next CBC!  Meanwhile, join us for Morning Birding at Hallam Lake on the first Tuesday of the month through winter!

by Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide

Photo by Catherine Hagen
 

Species Identified:


17 Canada goose
93 mallard
3 green-winged teal
32 ring-necked duck
CW American coot
7 wild turkey
7 bald eagle
19 red-tailed hawk
1 falcon sp.
CW white-tailed ptarmigan
35 Eurasian-collared dove
2 belted kingfisher
2 Lewis's woodpecker
9 downy woodpecker
3 hairy woodpecker
4 northern flicker
2 Canada jay
47 Steller's jay
28 Wodhouse's scrub-jay
CW Clark's nutcracker
139 black-billed magpie
250 American crow
65 common raven
1 juniper titmouse
116 black-capped chickadee
93 mountain chickadee
CW bushtit
1 pygmy nuthatch
3 red-breasted nuthatch
12 white-breasted nuthatch
2 brown creeper
13 American dipper
13 Townsend's solitaire
1 American robin
29 European starling
1 cedar waxwing
2 spotted towhee
13 song sparrow
1 white-crowned sparrow
7 dark-eyed junco (of these, 1 Oregon, 1 slate-colored)
33 red-winged blackbird
3 common grackle
4 gray-crowned rosy-finch
45 brown-capped rosy-finch
17 pine grosbeak
1 Cassin's finch
78 house finch
4 red crossbill
99 pine siskin
6 American goldfinch
56 evening grosbeak
59 house sparrow