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;