Common Loons © Mike MacLeod

2002 Christmas Bird Count

Count Date: Dec. 26, 2002

Weather: Cloudy except for a few brief clear patches between 4-6AM; Low Temperature -4C, High +2C; Winds west then north 15-20km, gusting occasionally to 30-35 km/h. A 15-20cm snowfall Christmas Eve into Christmas Day seemed to push most land species into concentrated pockets on count day. Hamilton Harbour and Burlington Bay were mainly ice free. Creeks were flowing freely but Cootes Paradise was almost completely iced over.

80 participants covered 39 areas and 7 feeders; 160 party hours walking, 82 party hours driving, 214 km walking, 1305 km driving, 18 hours feederwatching
99111 birds of 96 species and 2 hybrid ducks seen on Count Day, Dec. 26
7 Count Week (CW) species, i.e. seen Dec. 23-25 or 27-29, but not on Dec. 26
Second highest total number of birds ever for Hamilton; tied for third highest number of Identified Species seen on count day (highest was 100 in 1997); tied for highest number of Count Day Identified plus Count Week Species at 103, first reached in 1997.

New species for the count: Yellow-breasted Chat (CW)

21 species reached new highs for the count: totals for Trumpeter Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard and Cooper’s Hawk increased by almost 100% over the previous high; totals for Long-tailed Duck, Carolina Wren and Hermit Thrush increased by almost 50% over the previous high.
32 species have been seen on all 49 Hamilton CBCs for which data is currently available (1954-2002); several more species have been seen on 48 of those counts.

Species totals significantly higher (double or more) in 2002 than the average for the previous 10 years (1992-2001): Mourning Dove, Eastern Screech Owl, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing

Species totals significantly lower (half or less) in 2002 than the average for the previous 10 years (1992-2001): Northern Harrier, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-crowned Sparrow, Brown-headed Cowbird, Snow Bunting

Other highlights: Adult Red-shouldered Hawk seen migrating at 10:40 over Hendrie Valley spotted again at 11:00 over Dundas Marsh; 5200 American Crows counted during dusk fly-in to 3 lower city roosts; Barrow’s Goldeneye (seen on only 3 previous counts), Harlequin Duck (5 prev.), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Fox Sparrow (9 prev.), Black-crowned Night-Heron and Black Scoter (10 prev.).

Species seen one day outside count week: Chipping Sparrow

Place species count table here.

Compiler: Mike Street

Species List: 2002 totals, new highs for the count in uppercase letters