The 63rd annual Peterborough Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, December 14.  It was a relatively mild day (-1 to +1 deg C)    Here are some of the highlights.

Number of species: 67 (Record high! Previous record was 62.)

Number of participants: 45 (Record high! Previous record was 35.)

Species recorded in a record high number: Red-tailed Hawk (64 vs 62), Wild Turkey (306 vs 287), Rock Pigeon (1705 vs 1538), Common Raven (24 vs 5), White-breasted Nuthatch (116 vs 102), Dark-eyed Junco (510 vs 426)

Equals record:  Pied-billed Grebe (1), Sharp-shinned Hawk (5), Cooper’s Hawk (6), Bald Eagle (2), Barred Owl (2), Snowy Owl (1), Red-bellied Woodpecker (7), Pileated Woodpecker (14), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1), Hermit Thrush (1)

New species for the count: Gray Catbird

New Count Period bird: Ross’s Goose

Total number of birds seen: 11,722 (record is 15,015)

Of note were four Evening Grosbeaks (1st since 1999, the large increase in the number of Common Ravens (5 to 24, a trend that appears to be happening in other counts), rare occurrences of Bufflehead, Rough-legged Hawk (1st since 2006), American Coot (1st since 2003), Horned Lark(1st since 2005), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1st seen two years ago), only one Bohemian Waxwing (on our counts they are almost regular every other year, this should be a big year), Yellow-rumped Warbler, since once in 1981, and now three times in the last 4 years), Common Grackle (1st since 2006).

Cooper's Hawk (Karl Egressy)

Cooper’s Hawk (Karl Egressy)

Tony Bigg, co-ordinator



Gray Catbird - Wikimedia

Gray Catbird – Wikimedia

Red-bellied Woodpecker - Tom Baker

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Tom Baker

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.