Friday, February 28, 2003

West Virginia's Wintering Waterbirds

In the last 10 years, 1993-1994 to 2002-2003 (Christmas Bird Counts 94-103), West Virginia CBC participants have conducted a total of 153 counts at 17 different sites (15-mile diameter count circles) and tallied 82102 individual waterbirds of 47 species during 7164.7 party-hours afield, for an average of about 11.5 individuals per party-hour (based on data extracted from the CBC online database at http://birdsource.org).

A. The 10 Most Numerous Species

(1) Canada Goose - 44210 individuals
(2) Mallard - 25652
(3) Ring-billed Gull - 2758
(4) American Black Duck - 1860
(5) Great Blue Heron - 1293
(6) Hooded Merganser - 1224
(7) Killdeer - 1029
(8) American Coot - 969
(9) Bufflehead - 397
(10) Pied-billed Grebe - 362

B. The 10 Most Frequently Recorded Species

(1) Mallard - 149 counts
(2) Canada Goose - 143
(3) Great Blue Heron - 131
(4) American Black Duck - 107
(5) Hooded Merganser - 89
(6) Pied-billed Grebe - 86
(7) Killdeer - 79
(8) Ring-billed Gull - 70
(9) American Coot - 69
(10) Wood Duck - 60

C. The 11 Most Widely Distributed Species

(1) Great Blue Heron - 17 count circles
(2) Mallard - 17
(3) Canada Goose - 16
(4) Hooded Merganser - 16
(5) Pied-billed Grebe - 15
(6) American Black Duck - 15
(7) Common Loon - 14
(8) Wood Duck - 14
(9) Killdeer - 14
(10) Bufflehead - 13
(11) Ruddy Duck - 13

D. Detailed Species List

The following four statistics are provided for each species (in order): number of years recorded (out of 10) during count day or count week, number of CBC circles recorded (out of 17) during count day or count week, number of counts recorded (out of 153) during count day or count week, number of birds tallied on count day:

Common Loon - 10, 14, 36, 46;
Pied-billed Grebe - 10, 15, 86, 362;
Horned Grebe - 6, 8, 11, 11;
Double-crested Cormorant - 9, 9, 23, 90;
Great Blue Heron - 10, 17, 131, 1293;
Green Heron - 2, 1, 2, 1;
Black-crowned Night-Heron - 2, 2, 2, 1;
Snow Goose - 7, 7, 12, 77 (18.2% blue, 58.4% white, 23.4% unknown);
Canada Goose - 10, 16, 143, 44210;
Brant - 1, 1, 1, 2;
Mute Swan - 6, 7, 11, 27;
Tundra Swan - 4, 8, 9, 44;
Trumpeter Swan - 1, 1, 1, 2;
Wood Duck - 10, 14, 60, 274;
Gadwall - 10, 11, 38, 313;
American Wigeon - 10, 12, 35, 127;
American Black Duck - 10, 15, 107, 1860;
Mallard - 10, 17, 149, 25652;
Blue-winged Teal - 4, 4, 5, 11;
Northern Shoveler - 9, 7, 15, 69;
Northern Pintail - 8, 7, 10, 33;
Green-winged Teal - 10, 11, 38, 159;
Canvasback - 9, 8, 15, 49;
Redhead - 7, 5, 9, 20;
Ring-necked Duck - 10, 10, 40, 156;
Greater Scaup - 6, 3, 6, 16;
Lesser Scaup - 8, 11, 20, 87;
scaup sp. - 3, 2, 4, 29;
Long-tailed Duck/Oldsquaw - 2, 2, 3, 2;
Surf Scoter - 2, 2, 2, 5;
Bufflehead - 10, 13, 52, 397;
Common Goldeneye - 10, 6, 22, 59;
Hooded Merganser - 10, 16, 89, 1224;
Common Merganser - 10, 8, 16, 49;
Red-breasted Merganser - 9, 8, 11, 22;
Ruddy Duck - 9, 13, 33, 139;
Osprey - 2, 4, 4, 2;
Bald Eagle - 10, 10, 39, 64;
American Coot - 10, 12, 69, 969;
Sandhill Crane - 1, 1, 1, 6;
Killdeer - 10, 14, 79, 1029;
Spotted Sandpiper - 1, 1, 1, 1;
Wilson’s/Common Snipe - 10, 9, 42, 113;
American Woodcock - 3, 3, 3, 4;
Bonaparte’s Gull - 6, 3, 12, 14;
Ring-billed Gull - 10, 11, 70, 2758;
Herring Gull - 10, 6, 23, 57;
Great Black-backed Gull - 1, 1, 1, 1;
gull sp. - 7, 3, 9, 165; and
Totals - 10, 17, 153, 82102.

E. Comparison of Winter Goose : Duck Ratios (2002-2003)

Christmas Bird Count: 5659 geese (67%) and 2754 ducks (33%).
West Virginia Waterfowl Migration Census*: 7996 geese (66%) and 4062 ducks (34%).
West Virginia DNR Mid-Winter Waterfowl Count: 3743 geese (59%) and 2613 ducks (41%).
*December data only, from Matt Orsie (may include CBC data)

(Originally posted to the WV-Bird listserv on 2/12/03)

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