The National Audubon Society’s Midwinter (Christmas) Bird Count for Danville and the surrounding area was held Dec. 22. It was a cold day — a high temperature of 35 degrees — with clear skies and light winds. The number of species sighted, 66, was two lower than last year. The number of individuals counted, 7,610, was just more than half the number seen last year, but much of that difference is accounted for in the rather low number of European Starlings (4,000 this year; 10,000 last year).
Four species which have been counted in 40 or more of the 63 previous annual counts were not seen this year: American Black Duck, Rough-legged Hawk, American Coot, and Brown-headed Cowbird. Relatively rare species recorded include the American Pipit (last counted in 1996), Pine Siskin (last counted in 2005), and Northern Bobwhite (last counted in 2006).
The birds sighted were Canada Goose, Gadwall Duck, Mallard Duck, Northern Shoveler, Wild Turkey, Northern Bobwhite, Pie-billed Grebe, Great-blue Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Wilson’s Snipe, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Eastern Screech-Owl, Great Horned Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Loggerhead Shrike, Blue Jay, American Crow, Horned Lark, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, American Pipit, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle, Purple Finch, House Finch, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch and House Sparrow.
The participants this year were Jane Brantley, J.P. Brantley, Granville Cox, Thelma Cox, Ginny Eklund, Neil Eklund, Bill Garriott, JoAnn Hamm, Michael Hamm, Mort Hoagland, Gloria Maender, Jim Maender, Gail Manning, Preston Miles, Eric Mount, Jim Porter, Linda Porter and Patsi Trollinger all of Boyle County; Patrick Finnegan of Dayton, Ohio; Ben Leffew of Fayette County; and Don Pelly of Mercer County
To take part in the 2013 Christmas Bird Count planned for Dec. 21, send an email to J.P. Brantley at firstname.lastname@example.org including a name and phone number. Particpants do not need to be expert “birders,” and drivers and tabulators also are needed.