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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The 116th Christmas Bird Counts (CBC) are behind us. This year there were 29 CBCs in Utah and 19 in Wyoming.
Last year nearly 73,000 participated in the Americas in 2,460 15-mile diameter count circles.

He's my brief on the Evanston WY/UT 2016 count:

The 2015/2016 Evanston Christmas Bird Count was a huge success.

On January 2nd 2016 11 field participants braved cold and snow to spend part, or all of, a cold winter day observing birds. An additional birdwatcher manned a bird feeder for the event. A total of 31 different species and 1907 birds were recorded. The Evanston count is nationally known for the number of Greater Sage-Grouse observed and typically takes top honors for the highest number of Greater Sage-Grouse tallied each year. However no sage-grouse were encountered this time, a first for the Evanston count that, for the past 35 years, has averaged 305 sage-grouse per year. The heavy snow cover and cold temperatures have moved the grouse away from the roads up to higher ground where the wind has blown the snow off the sagebrush. Generally, sage-grouse numbers are on the rise in southwest Wyoming and northeastern Utah, but some flocks are taking a hit from marauding ravens and gulls that prey on sage-grouse eggs and hatchlings.

The numbers of Eurasian-collared Dove, an invasive species, continue to increase. High numbers of House Sparrows, magpies and starlings were seen. Noticeably absent were woodpeckers, goldfinches, waxwings, Horned Lark, and Ferruginous Hawk.

An uncommon bird for the Evanston circle is Black Rosy-Finch. 42 Black Rosy-Finches were counted, 37 in one flock. The cold weather and heavy snows were too much for the American Crows that normally winter with the ravens at the Evanston City dump. No crows were found this year. Magpies seemed to be everywhere. Small perching bird numbers were low overall. The reduction of perching birds could be attributed to lack of food due to the heavy snow cover and the declining number of active bird feeders within the count circle.

This winter's cold weather has left little open water for ducks and geese. Waterfowl numbers were down.

The Evanston Christmas Bird Count has been held since 1981 and the 15-mile diameter circle is split down the middle by the WY/UT state line. The Bear River runs through the circle south to north. The event would not be successful without the cooperation from private landowners and ranchers within the count circle.

This year over 2,460 individual counts are scheduled to take place throughout the Americas and beyond from December 14, 2015 to January 5, 2016. During last year's count, close to 69 million birds were tallied by over 72,600 volunteers, representing a record level of participation.

Results:
Mallard 15, Green-winged Teal 4, Common Goldeneye 14, Sharp-shinned Hawk 2, Rough-legged Hawk 3, Golden Eagle 5, Bald Eagle 17, Prairie Falcon 1, Merlin 1, Rock Pigeon 25, Eurasian Collared-Dove 69, Short-eared Owl 1, Great-horned Owl 1, Northern (red-shafted) Flicker 4, Northern Shrike 3, Black-billed Magpie 495, Common Raven 59, Black-capped Chickadee 3, Mountain Chickadee 4, Townsend's Solitaire 1, European Starling 611, American Tree Sparrow 10, Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 8, Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) 2, Red-winged Blackbird 13, Brewer's Blackbird 21, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch 16 , Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (Hepburn's) 20, Black Rosy-Finch 42, House Finch 39, House Sparrow 210

31 total species
1907 individual birds
Weather - clear, light breeze, -28° F low, 8° F high
Still water frozen, running water 95% frozen
8" to 16" of snow cover
Wind - NW, 0 to 5 mph
11 field participants
1 feeder watch
170 car miles (21 hours)
1 foot miles (1.5 hours)




 

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What was the militiaman count? ;-)



Seriously, that sounds like fun. I'm surprised that the Junco count was so low. It seems like we have juncos everywhere down here. Which is fine. I like juncos. The ECD's are everywhere also. It sounds like they are going nuts up there too. Have you eaten any yet and are they good to eat?


Nice eagle pic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
What was the militiaman count? ;-)

Seriously, that sounds like fun. I'm surprised that the Junco count was so low. It seems like we have juncos everywhere down here. Which is fine. I like juncos. The ECD's are everywhere also. It sounds like they are going nuts up there too. Have you eaten any yet and are they good to eat?

Nice eagle pic.
thanks

Some years we don't get any juncos on our count. Our count is "geographically" built to catch the Bear River and as many sage-grouse flocks as we can in one 15-mile diameter circle. We got skunked on the sage grouse, first time in 35 years!

Back when the Bear River had a lot of water in it we would get 40 to 45 eagles hanging down in the river living on chubs, suckers and whitefish. There's few fish and fewer eagles wintering on the river these days. However 15 to 20 "local" Bald Eagles living off road-killed deer and the DLL "gut pile" are always around.

It was -11° on the Woodruff Narrows dam at 1:00 pm Saturday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
What's kinda neat about our count is you can witness many of the wintering mule deer around Evanston the same time of year and the same place each year and compare that to years in the past. We use to tally the 4-points or better we seen on the count until there wasn't any 4-points left.

Again, the wintering mule deer herd is nothing to brag about. And there's not many 2-points out there. Bad, we're 3-point or better. There should be a lot of 2-points. There's plenty of does and fawns but few 2-points. So no recruitment for next year.........again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
2016/2017 Evanston Christmas Bird Count January 1st

Those interested in participating in the annual Evanston Christmas Bird Count (CBC) should meet on Sunday, January 1st, 8:00 am at the Hornet's Nest Gas Station, 8 miles north of Evanston on Rt. 89.

The Evanston circle holds the all-time record count for Greater Sage-Grouse,
698 in 1986. This will be the 35th year for the Evanston CBC.

Each year birds are counted
in a 24-hour period within a 15-mile diameter circle, centered on the WY/UT border 10 miles north of Evanston WY,.

For more details contact Tim or Patti Gorman at 307-789-3833 or 307-679-0656.

https://vimeo.com/71432056

http://www.audubon.org/join-christmas-bird-count

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Last year 27 individual CBC counts were held in Utah:

Antelope Island S.P., Bear lake, Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Boulder, Bryce Canyon, Cedar City, Dead Horse Point S.P., Dinosaur N.M., Evanston WY / UT, Fish Springs, Grand Staircase / Escalante N.M., Heber Valley, Jordan River, Kanab, Logan, Moab, Morgan, Ogden, Ouray N.W.R., Park City, Payson, Provo, Salt Lake City, Silver Reef, St. George, Torrey, Zion N.P.

The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge Count has been held since 1939.

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I thought the same thing Catherder did. I couldn't believe the low Junco numbers. Black-capped and mountain Chickadees have me baffled too. I usually see quite a few along foothill shrubs and riparian areas in the winter.

Sounds like a lot of fun Goob. I went on a birds of prey count in the Wellsville mountains one year (1998?). I learned a lot from the birding veterans. We went with a guy named Stokes. I forget his first name but I know he wrote a bird book and had a nature center named after him and his wife in Logan canyon.

Edit: I wondered if it was THEE Donald and Lillian Stokes so I looked it up, 'twasn't. I was Allan and Alice Stokes. Wonderful people!
http://logannature.org/
http://utahsadventurefamily.com/stokes-nature-center-logan/
 

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