Home > Birding > Bird Counts > Christmas Bird Counts > 2008 Christmas Bird Count Results

2008 Christmas Bird Count Results

Brown Creeper Photo: Tom Thomas2008 Hamilton Christmas Bird Count Summary
Count Day: December 26, 2008

Brown Creeper
Photo: Tom Thomas
December 26, 2008 (Boxing Day) was very benign weather wise with little wind and temperatures ranging from -1 to +1, as 94 participants either went out into the field or counted birds at their bird feeders. This year we counted 66,923 birds which is below the last ten year average of 73,234. The reasons for the low count are many. We no longer get great numbers of American Crows which used to be counted by the thousands and also in some years the diving ducks at the lake can be widely scattered and difficult to count owing to the prevailing winds. European Starlings are now down by 50% of their 10 year average.

The good news is that we counted a record 104 species beating the previous record by one. We also broke 17 records for the number of individual species. A few of these records may also prove to be Ontario records especially the large numbers of White-Winged Crossbills. We added the Cackling Goose to our historical record as a new count species. The new historical record for total species for all 54 years is now 178.

Wild Turkey Flock Photo: Stephanie Lechniak-Cumerlato

Wild Turkey
Photo: Stephanie Lechniak-Cumerlato

Species missing from this year’s count day:
• Tundra Swan
• American Wigeon
• Northern Goshawk

Birds seen in count week but not on count day:
• Red-throated Loon
• Yellow-rumped warbler
• Gray Catbird

The count statistics are as follows:
Counters in the Field 94
Number of hours feeder watching: 52
Number of hours owling: 8
Number of hours walking: 163
Number of hours driving: 64
Distance driven owling (km): 40
Distance driven daytime (km): 1,082
Distance walked owling (km): 4
Distance walked daytime (km): 203

The individual species count is as follows:
(Average refers to average count over the last ten years)

Species 2008 Count Comments
Common Loon 2 Average – 2
Horned Grebe 1 Average – 0
Pied-billed Grebe 1 Average – 2
Red-necked Grebe 16 New record
Double-crested Cormorant 46 Average – 33
Great Blue Heron 12 Average – 6
Black-crowned Night-Heron 6 Average – 3
Trumpeter Swan 184 New record
Canada Goose 8,008 Average – 5,751
Cackling Goose 2 New species
Mute Swan 138 New record
Wood Duck 3 Average – 1
Gadwall 74 Average – 74
Mallard 5,352 Average – 4,400
American Black Duck 452 Average – 390
American Black Duck x Mallard 45 Average – 11
Northern Shoveler 60 Average – 41
Northern Pintail 30 Average – 36
Green-winged Teal 28 Average – 28
Canvasback 87 Well below average – 118
Redhead 23 Well below average -69
Ring-necked Duck 19 Well below average – 74
Greater Scaup 4,183 Well below average – 8,221
Lesser Scaup 1,162 Average – 1,799
Harlequin Duck 1 Average – 0
Surf Scoter 22 Well below average – 93
White-winged Scoter 379 Average – 366
Black Scoter 8 Average – 8
Long-tailed Duck 3,967 Well below average – 8,590
Bufflehead 449 Average – 588
Common Goldeneye 2,024 Average – 2,387
Hooded Merganser 53 Average – 52
Common Merganser 3,202 Well above average – 1,008
Red-breasted Merganser 502 New record
Ruddy Duck 882 New record
“Duck” species 15 Average – 2,480
Bald Eagle 9 New record
Northern Harrier 1 Average – 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk 12 Average – 13
Cooper’s Hawk 20 New record
Red-shouldered Hawk 1 Average – 1
Red-tailed Hawk 158 Average – 118
Rough-legged Hawk 3 Average – 2
American Kestrel 25 Average – 18
Merlin 2 Average – 2
Peregrine Falcon 4 Average – 3
Ring-necked Pheasant 9 Average – 1
Wild Turkey 59 New record
American Coot 34 Well below average – 100
Ring-billed Gull 974 Well below average – 1,809
Herring Gull 3,665 Well above average – 1,360
Thayer’s Bull 1 Average – 0
Iceland Gull 51 New record
Glaucous Gull 50 Well above average – 10
Lesser Black-backed Gull 3 New record
Great Black-backed Gull 138 Average – 98
“Gull ” species 71 Average – 29
Rock Pigeon 2,296 Average – 1, 838
Mourning Dove 1,986 Well above average – 1,072
Eastern Screech Owl 15 Average – 18
Great Horned Owl 16 Well above average – 6
Long-eared Owl 2 Average – 2
Snowy Owl 1 Average – 0
Belted Kingfisher 6 Average – 6
Red-bellied Woodpecker 60 New record
Downy Woodpecker 308 Well above average – 186
Hairy Woodpecker 90 Average – 61
Northern Flicker 10 Average – 12
Pileated Woodpecker 13 Average – 6
Northern Shrike 4 Average – 4
Blue Jay 527 New record
American Crow 657 Well below average – 2,057
Horned Lark 84 Above average – 30
Black-capped Chickadee 1,862 Well above average – 1,531
Red-breasted Nuthatch 27 Below average – 38
White-breasted Nuthatch 256 Well above average – 174
Brown Creeper 26 Well above average – 14
Carolina Wren 40 New record
Winter Wren 14 Average – 9
Golden-crowned Kinglet 54 Average – 30
Eastern Bluebird 21 Average – 22
Hermit Thrush 6 Average – 3
American Robin 1,587 New record
Northern Mockingbird 28 Average – 23
European Starling 8,099 Well below average – 15,251
American Pipit 1 Average – 0
Cedar Waxwing 322 Average – 308
American Tree Sparrow 1,390 Well above average – 522
Song Sparrow 74 Well above average – 35
Swamp Sparrow 8 Average – 6
White-throated Sparrow 124 Average – 81
White-crowned Sparrow 9 Average – 13
Dark-eyed Junco 1,954 New record
Snow Bunting 243 Well above average – 83
Northern Cardinal 619 Average – 543
Red-winged Blackbird 11 Average – 5
Common Grackle 2 Average – 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 44 Well above average – 22
Purple Finch 3 Average – 5
House Finch 601 Average – 539
Red Crossbill 1 Average – 0
White-winged Crossbill 2,493 New record
Common Redpoll 8 Well below average – 47
Pine Siskin 34 Average – 28
American Goldfinch 1,358 New record
“Finch” species 46  
House Sparrow 2,753 Average – 2,107