26 February 2012

2011-2012 Winter Feeder Count Results

Each winter, Lindsay and I participate in the Indiana Audubon Society Winter Feeder Bird Count, which takes place the 20th to 25th of November, December, January, and February.  You can see our reports on surveys from previous years here and here

American Goldfinches and House Finches on our platform feeder in November 2011.
Our species counts during each month and overall were similar to those in the past two years.  This year, we had 18 species in November, December, and January, and 17 species in February.  We tallied 21 species at our feeders during the count periods in 2011-2012; our complete list is included at the end of this post.

Pine Siskin eating black oil sunflower seeds in December 2011.  We only saw Pine Siskins at our feeders during the December count period in 2011-2012.
Species observed most frequently (those present during all four count periods) in 2011-2012 were 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), American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea), White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys), Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis), Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis), and House Sparrow (Passer domesticus). Species observed in greatest abundance during a single count period (with the greatest number observed at one time in parentheses) were American Goldfinch (29 in December, 13 in February), Mourning Dove (28 in December), American Tree Sparrow (24 in February, 18 in January, and 16 in December), House Sparrow (18 in December and 17 in January), European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris, 14 in February), Northern Cardinal (13 in February), and Dark-eyed Junco (13 in December).  The most abundant species based on average over the four count periods were American Goldfinch (15.75), American Tree Sparrow (15.25), House Sparrow (10.75), and Mourning Dove (10.5).

White-crowned Sparrow, a reliable species for us in winter, on our platform feeder in February 2012.  Unfortunately, we only saw one individual during each of the four count periods in 2011-2012.
Although overall it has been a warm winter, the temperature range during the count period was comparable to in previous years, with a low temperature of 6 degrees Fahrenheit in January and a high temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit in November.

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker at a suet feeder in February 2012.
Our biggest highlight of the 2011-2012 count came in December, when Lindsay saw a Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) at our feeders on the first day of the count period.  Most Gray Catbirds migrate south of here for the winter, but a few stick around, and we were lucky enough to find one at our feeders.

A sign of the coming spring, a male Red-winged Blackbird, on our platform feeder in February 2012.
2011-2012 Winter Bird Feeder Count Species ListMourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Blue Jay
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Gray Catbird
European Starling
American Tree Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
House Finch
Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus)
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

No comments: