|Northern Cardinals were the fourth most abundant species at our feeders during the 2015-2016 count. The bird in this photo is a female.|
|Like several other species, Northern Cardinal numbers were higher at our feeders this year than in any year in the past. The bird pictured is a male.|
|American Goldfinch numbers have shown a decreasing trend over the eight years of observation at our feeders during the Winter Bird Feeder Count.|
|This Sharp-shinned Hawk was not tallied during the Winter Bird Feeder Count at our feeders, but showed up on January 26, 2016, one day after the count period ended.|
|The Carolina Wren on the right provided our first ever record of this species at our feeders during a Winter Bird Feeder Count.|
The low temperature during our 2015-2016 count was 11 degrees Fahrenheit in November and the high temperature reached 67 degrees Fahrenheit in February. Temperatures during the 2015-2016 Winter Bird Feeder Count on our property were mostly within the range of previous years with the following exceptions: November saw the lowest low temperature during the eight year history (11 degrees Fahrenheit), February saw the highest low temperature during the eight year history (33 degrees Fahrenheit), December saw the highest high temperature during the eight year history (62 degrees Fahrenheit), and February saw the highest high temperature during the eight year history (67 degrees Fahrenheit). The low and high temperatures were below average in November but above average in December, January, and February. Snow cover was within the range of other counts during each month. Low snow cover totals were below average each month in 2015-2016, and high snow cover totals were above average in November and February but below average in December and January. The deepest snow cover during the count was observed in February (7 inches).
|Dark-eyed Juncos are common winter residents.|
|This male House Finch is lacking carotenoids from his diet.|
|This female Red-winged Blackbird hung around into November.|
The most abundant species based on average over the four months of the count were Brown-headed Cowbird (78.5), American Tree Sparrow (14.8), Red-winged Blackbird (14.5), Northern Cardinal (11.5), House Sparrow (11.3), House Finch (10.8), and European Starling (10.0).
White-crowned Sparrows continued to rebound at our feeding stations in 2015-2016. From 2008-2009 to 2012-2013, this species declined in number of individuals at our feeders from an average of 3.0 to an average of 0.3. In 2015-2016, we found an average of 2.3 White-crowned Sparrows at our feeding stations during the count period. Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura), however, have been decreasing at our feeders during the feeder count since 2011-2012 (to an average of 2.3 in 2015-2016). House Finches have increased fairly consistently since we've been conducting the count, whereas American Goldfinches have shown a generally decreasing trend.
|Just can't get enough of those Fox Sparrows!|
We logged average high counts for an astounding 17 species in 2015-2016: Red-bellied Woodpecker (2.25), Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus, 0.50), Blue Jay (5.75), Tufted Titmouse (3.25), Carolina Wren (0.25), American Robin (Turdus migratorius, 0.50), Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca, 1.00), Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia, 1.00), White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis, 0.50), Dark-eyed Junco (8.75), Northern Cardinal (11.50), Red-winged Blackbird (14.50), Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus, 0.25), Common Grackle (3.50), Brown-headed Cowbird (78.50), Purple Finch (0.25), and House Finch (10.75).
2015-2016 Winter Bird Feeder Count Species List
Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
American Tree Sparrow