Christmas bird count in Danville reports high species, low bird numbers

December 28, 2003

The Audobon Society's annual Christmas bird count for the Danville territory reported the highest species count since 1999, but a relatively low overall bird count.

The count, held Dec. 20, reflected a national trend attributed to loss of habitat, according to organizer Neil Eklund. He said the bird count numbers were also lower because no large flocks of starlings were sighted.

The 26 observers who took part this year counted 70 species and 8,298 birds. While species commonly seen were counted, observers found two bird counts that were historically the highest for the Danville area: the 147 Sandhill Cranes and 155 White-crowned Sparrows eclipsed the previous records of 25 and 140, respectively.

Birds sighted were: Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Canada Goose, Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Canvasback, Ring-Necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Red-Tailed Hawk, American Kestrel;


Northern Bobwhite, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Common Snipe, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Rock Dove, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker;

Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Winter Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, European Starling;

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Rufous-sided Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Purple Finch, House Finch, American Goldfinch, and House Sparrow.

Brown Creeper and Sharp-shinned Hawk were sighted during the count week (three days prior to and succeeding the count day) but not on the count day.

Participants in the count were: coordinators Neil and Virginia Ecklund, Joe Amburgey, Ernie Baird, J.P. and Jane Brantley, Martha Foster, Bill Garriott, JoAnn and Mike Hamm, Tom Kearns, Bill Kemper, Debbie Larkin, Gail Manning, Amelia and John Nichols, Rob Pendygraft, Herb Petitjean, Jami Powell, Ralph Scheifferle and Charles Vahlkamp, all of Boyle County; Jack Newton, Don and Erin Pelly, and Robbie Stamps, all of Mercer County; and Joan Smith of Lincoln County.

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