The summed average number of individuals observed during the 2017-2018 count was 143.25, third only to results seen in 2015-2016 (202.5) and 2008-2009 (154.25). We tallied 21 species at our feeding stations during the count, the lowest tally we've had, tying results from 2009-2010, 2011-2012, and 2013-2014 (29 species is our high for the count period, observed in 2015-2016). The number of species observed was below our ten-year average of 23.60 species. We tallied an average of 17.5 species per month (ranking near the middle of our average species per month through our 10-years of doing the count). We observed 14 species in November 2017, 18 species in December 2017, 20 species in January 2018, and 18 species in February 2018. For comparison, our 10-year monthly averages stand at 17.2 in November, 17.9 in December, 18.1 in January, and 19.6 in February. In general, numbers seem to increase both as we get closer to spring and when more snow and colder temperatures are present.
|Winter feeding of our birds, including this Black-capped Chickadee, began on October 15, 2017.|
We've now tallied 38 species using our feeders (or hawks showing an interest in feeder birds) during the 10 seasons that we've participated in this count (reported erroneously as 37 in last year's report). We didn't add any new species to our tally during the 2017-2018 count.
|Tufted Titmouse is a regular winter feeder bird, showing up during all four count periods in 2017-2018.|
The low temperature during our 2017-2018 count was 15 degrees Fahrenheit in December and the high temperature reached 62 degrees Fahrenheit in February. November and December temperatures during the 2017-2018 Winter Bird Feeder Count on our property were slightly below the average, but January and February were much warmer than average for the second consecutive year. Snow cover was mostly within the range of other counts, with the exception of December, when there was the most snow of any December period in our 10-year history (8 inches). Also of note is that the February period saw 0 inches of snow for just the second time, with the first time this happened occurring last year. Low and high snow cover totals were below average throughout the count, except for the high snow cover total in December, which was above average. The deepest snow cover during the count was observed in December (8 inches).
|A female Red-winged Blackbird (top left) showed up at our feeders during the January count period; two males were present in February.|
|House Finches (female on the left, male on the right) were most abundant at our feeders in January.|
|American Tree Sparrow numbers at our feeders have shown a decline in recent years.|
|An average high count for Purple Finch (male shown above) was documented in 2017-2018 at our feeders.|
We logged average high counts for 3 species in 2017-2018: Hairy Woodpecker (2.00), White-crowned Sparrow (3.00, tied with 2008-2009), and Purple Finch (0.75).
2016-2017 Winter Bird Feeder Count Species List
Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea)
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)