Fewer birds spotted during annual Boyle count

December 30, 2004

The Audubon Society annual Christmas bird count for the Danville territory turned up fewer species and fewer numbers this year.

Observers said the low count on Dec. 18 could be attributed to two things: The relatively warm fall encouraged ducks to remain in the North longer, and the loss of habitat throughout the Americas.

The 26 observers who took part sighted 58 species and 8,370 birds.

There was a remarkable lack of waterfowl; nine species usually seen were not sighted.

However, there were four species sighted whose counts were higher than before: nine northern harriers (known as marsh hawks), 675 killdeer (previous high was 116), seven Boneparte's gulls, and three least terns (never before sighted in the Danville count).

A picture of the least tern was sent to the Kentucky Bird Records Committee for certification.

The birds sighted were:

Pied-billed grebe, great-blue heron, Canada goose, wood duck, American black duck, mallard, hooded merganser, red-breasted merganser, black vulture, turkey vulture, northern harrier, cooper's hawk, red-tailed hawk, red-shouldered hawk and American kestrel; American coot, killdeer, common snipe, least sandpiper, Boneparte's gull, ring billed gull, rock pigeon, mourning dove, belted kingfisher, red-headed woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, northern flicker and pileated woodpecker; loggerhead shrike, blue jay, American crow, Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, red-breasted nuthatch, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren, eastern bluebird, American robin, northern mockingbird, brown thrasher and European starling; Eastern towhee, northern cardinal, chipping sparrow, field sparrow, savannah sparrow, song sparrow, white-throated sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, dark-eyed junco, red-winged blackbird, eastern meadowlark, common grackle, house finch, American goldfinch and house sparrow.


A brown-headed cowbird was sighted and a great horned owl was heard during the count week - three days prior and three days succeeding the count day - but not on the count day.

Participants in the count were coordinators Neil and Virginia Eklund, Joe Amburgey, Ernie Baird, Joe Baron, J.P. and Jane Brantley, Martha Foster, Bill Garriott, Tom Kearns, Bill Kemper, Debbie Larkin, Fred Loetscher, Gail Manning, Sam Morgan, Eric Mount, Amelia and John Nichols, Herb Petitjean, Abby Piper, Judy Ross and Rob Stamps of Boyle County; Don Bolelage of Casey County, Carolyn Carter of Fayette County, Don Pelly of Mercer County, and Jamie Hester of Garrard County.

Next year organizers hope to also have people count at their bird feeders.

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