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: Lisle-Arboretum CBC (preliminary) results, Sunday, 16 Dec 2012  ( 1033 )

Geoffrey A. Williamson

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The 64th Lisle Arboretum (ILLA) Christmas Bird Count was held Sunday, 16 Dec 2012. We had what I believe was a record number of participants this year, with over 100 field counters plus several more feeder watchers. We came close to, but fell one species short, of a count record with 86 species reported, and two additional species (so far) were seen during count week. The previous record high count of 87 species was set in 2009. [For those present at the count dinner, we had to remove Red-headed Woodpecker from the list, dropping the total to 86, and my number of 85 as the previous record wasn’t quite right.]

Let me first express my appreciation for the efforts of all the participants in making this a great count. Special thanks go to the area captains, to Chris Williamson for organizing the countdown dinner (with 60+ attendees!), and to the crew from Chicago Ornithological Society (COS – http://www.chicagobirder.org) that added a celebration of COS’s 100th anniversary to the post-count festivities. Thanks, too, to COS for covering the cost of the dinner for count participants!

A new species was added to the count rolls: Great Egret. Two were seen on the count. Golden Eagle has not been previously seen on the count, but this year was recorded as a count week bird. Other unusual species for this count included Cackling Goose (9th time on the count), Trumpeter Swan (2nd time), Redhead (9th), Ruddy Duck (11th), Double-crested Cormorant (8th), Sandhill Crane (6th), Short-eared Owl (13th), Pileated Woodpecker (6th), Monk Parakeet (6th), and Brown Thrasher (16th time, but only the 3rd in the last 15 years).

Record high counts were set for Trumpeter Swan, Bufflehead, Pied-billed Grebe, Belted Kingfisher, and American Goldfinch. This year’s count of Redhead tied the record high. Other notably large counts included those for Gadwall, Hairy Woodpecker, Yellow-rumped Warbler, House Finch, and Pine Siskin. For these species, the 2012 tally was greater than 150% of the average over the last 15 years.

There weren’t any really big misses. “Kind of big” misses included Rough-legged Hawk, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. We record these species two out of every three years but failed to get them this year. We had low numbers of Canada Goose, Herring Gull, and Northern Flicker (less than 50% the average of the last 15 counts). American Crow numbers remained at the low levels that set in during the 2002 count, following the West Nile virus outbreak.

Here are the numbers as reported at the count dinner. There may be some later revisions, plus there are some feeder count totals that have yet to be included.

Cackling Goose 1
Canada Goose 4,415
Trumpeter Swan 3
Wood Duck 2
Gadwall 340
American Wigeon 27
American Black Duck 15
Mallard 1,448
Northern Shoveler 13
Northern Pintail 4
Green-winged Teal 16
Canvasback 1
Redhead 5
Ring-necked Duck 1
Lesser Scaup 5
Bufflehead 6
Common Goldeneye 9
Hooded Merganser 60
Common Merganser 11
Red-breasted Merganser 9
Ruddy Duck 3
Pied-billed Grebe 9
Double-crested Cormorant 3
Great Blue Heron 32
Great Egret 2
Bald Eagle 5
Northern Harrier 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 6
Cooper's Hawk 15
Red-tailed Hawk 76
Golden Eagle (count week)
American Coot 31
Sandhill Crane 5
Killdeer 2
Wilson's Snipe 1
Ring-billed Gull 344
Herring Gull 39
Rock Pigeon 452
Mourning Dove 704
Eastern Screech-Owl 25
Great Horned Owl 21
Short-eared Owl 2
Northern Saw-whet Owl 5
Belted Kingfisher 22
Red-bellied Woodpecker 134
Downy Woodpecker 235
Hairy Woodpecker 82
Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted) 12
Pileated Woodpecker 3
American Kestrel 11
Monk Parakeet 1
Northern Shrike 3
Blue Jay 180
American Crow 83
Black-capped Chickadee 526
Tufted Titmouse 9
Red-breasted Nuthatch 28
White-breasted Nuthatch 236
Brown Creeper 16
Carolina Wren 9
Winter Wren 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3
Eastern Bluebird 48
Hermit Thrush 2
American Robin 698
Brown Thrasher 1
European Starling 2,894
Cedar Waxwing 607
Lapland Longspur 1
Snow Bunting 26
Yellow-rumped Warbler 53
Eastern Towhee (count week)
American Tree Sparrow 619
Fox Sparrow 35
Song Sparrow 55
Swamp Sparrow 24
White-throated Sparrow 86
White-crowned Sparrow 9
Dark-eyed Junco 1,163
Northern Cardinal 540
Red-winged Blackbird 52
Brown-headed Cowbird 4
Purple Finch 25
House Finch 308
Common Redpoll 2
Pine Siskin 241
American Goldfinch 813
House Sparrow 532

Number of species on count 86
Number of additional count week species 2

Good birding,
Geoff Williamson
Chicago (Cook County), Illinois


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