Thursday, December 28, 2006

Charles Town Christmas Bird Count: 53-Year Summary

The Charles Town Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is located in Jefferson County, West Virginia; it is one of two CBCs in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, the other being Inwood. The count was initiated in the winter of 1952-1953 and, with the lone exception of 1967-1968, it has been conducted annually, yielding a total of 53 counts through the winter of 2005-2006. The following is an example of the convention used to summarize the frequency of occurrence and abundance of each species recorded in these 53 years:

Tufted Titmouse 53 (144, 84, 49, 18, 2)

In this example,
  • 53 is the number of years in which Tufted Titmouse was recorded,
  • 144 is the maximum count,
  • 84 is the 75th percentile count,
  • 49 is the median count,
  • 18 is the 25th percentile count, and
  • 2 is the minimum count.
  • A nominal total of 147 species has been recorded on the Charles Town CBC. Based on varying patterns of frequency and abundance, these 147 species are here arranged in five categories (described more fully in following paragraphs):
  • Regular Winter Residents (61 species)
  • Rare Winter Residents or Visitors (24)
  • Extremely Rare Winter Residents or Visitors (16)
  • Extremely Vagrants (24)
  • Accidental Vagrants 22)
  • Regular Winter Residents (frequency of at least 50 percent and median abundance of at least 1 bird/count). Of the 4,523 individuals of 61 species recorded annually (on average), 82 percent are passerines (36 species), 58 percent are introduced (4 species), 9 percent are hunted gamebirds (8 species), 4 percent are waterbirds (10 species), and 1 percent are raptors or scavengers (7 species). Species are arranged in decreasing order by median, 75th percentile, and maximum counts.
  • European Starling 53 (14484, 2893, 1868, 540, 212)
  • American Crow 53 (7500, 1900, 488, 250, 107)
  • Rock Pigeon 32 (1171, 471, 262, 0, 0)
  • House Sparrow 52 (4104, 541, 250, 201, 0)
  • Mourning Dove 49 (1097, 434, 234, 37, 0)
  • Dark-eyed Junco 53 (853, 318, 180, 34, 10)
  • Northern Cardinal 53 (368, 239, 164, 57, 12)
  • White-throated Sparrow 53 (384, 202, 115, 19, 1)
  • Mallard 52 (444, 177, 112, 40, 0)
  • Carolina Chickadee 53 (180, 109, 72, 28, 9)
  • American Goldfinch 53 (266, 131, 71, 30, 2)
  • White-crowned Sparrow 53 (196, 102, 68, 44, 2)
  • Northern Mockingbird 52 (237, 104, 56, 22, 0)
  • Tufted Titmouse 53 (144, 84, 49, 18, 2)
  • Song Sparrow 53 (123, 74, 47, 32, 8)
  • Blue Jay 51 (241, 88, 42, 6, 0)
  • Downy Woodpecker 53 (112, 64, 40, 12, 4)
  • House Finch 32 (388, 161, 31, 0, 0)
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker 52 (88, 48, 28, 4, 0)
  • American Tree Sparrow 52 (153, 55, 27, 12, 0)
  • Carolina Wren 50 (82, 49, 26, 4, 0)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch 52 (63, 28, 20, 7, 0)
  • Eastern Bluebird 44 (256, 54, 19, 10, 2, 0)
  • American Black Duck 42 (155, 39, 19, 0, 0)
  • Turkey Vulture 52 (318, 47, 18, 8, 0)
  • Cedar Waxwing 42 (674, 90, 16, 2, 0)
  • Northern Bobwhite 42 (100, 28, 16, 3, 0)
  • Rusty Blackbird 38 (222, 42, 15, 0, 0)
  • Northern Flicker 48 (63, 30, 15, 3, 0)
  • Killdeer 46 (70, 25, 15, 7, 0)
  • Canada Goose 30 (1624, 366, 12, 0, 0)
  • Common Grackle 42 (6215, 41, 12, 2, 0)
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet 50 (54, 22, 11, 3, 0)
  • Red-tailed Hawk 44 (70, 27, 8, 1, 0)
  • Wilson’s Snipe 42 (41, 17, 8, 1, 0)
  • Belted Kingfisher 52 (24, 13, 8, 4, 0)
  • Brown Creeper 50 (25, 12, 8, 3, 0)
  • Brown-headed Cowbird 53 (2247, 43, 7, 4, 1)
  • Pileated Woodpecker 47 (45, 14, 7, 1, 0)
  • American Kestrel 49 (24, 13, 7, 1, 0)
  • Great Blue Heron 44 (26, 12, 7, 2, 0)
  • Eastern Meadowlark 46 (100, 17, 6, 2, 0)
  • Hooded Merganser 35 (62, 13, 4, 0, 0)
  • Hairy Woodpecker 51 (30, 8, 4, 2, 0)
  • Black-capped Chickadee 34 (221, 23, 3, 0, 0)
  • Red-winged Blackbird 32 (255, 20, 3, 0, 0)
  • Horned Lark 33 (105, 20, 3, 0, 0)
  • Field Sparrow 41 (30, 11, 3, 1, 0)
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 40 (21, 7, 3, 1, 0)
  • American Robin 42 (1476, 28, 2, 1, 0)
  • Black Vulture 29 (126, 13, 2, 0, 0)
  • Pied-billed Grebe 35 (11, 5, 2, 0, 0)
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet 43 (13, 3, 2, 1, 0)
  • Purple Finch 27 (66, 4, 1, 0, 0)
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler 30 (36, 4, 1, 0, 0)
  • Common Goldeneye 32 (25, 4, 1, 0, 0)
  • Winter Wren 33 (22, 3, 1, 0, 0)
  • Swamp Sparrow 29 (12, 3, 1, 0, 0)
  • Red-shouldered Hawk 32 (15, 2, 1, 0, 0)
  • Loggerhead Shrike 30 (7, 2, 1, 0, 0)
  • Northern Harrier 36 (5, 2, 1, 0, 0)
  • Rare Winter Residents or Visitors (frequency of 25-49 percent and median abundance of less than 1 bird/count). These 24 species may occur annually. Their low frequency of occurrence may be due to small numbers, restricted distributions, or secretive habits. Species are arranged in decreasing order by 75th percentile and maximum counts, and years recorded.
  • Common Merganser 26 (68, 6, 0, 0, 0)
  • American Coot 20 (99, 5, 0, 0, 0)
  • Bufflehead 25 (47, 4, 0, 0, 0)
  • American Wigeon 18 (29, 3, 0, 0, 0)
  • Eastern Screech-Owl 23 (36, 2, 0, 0, 0)
  • Green-winged Teal 15 (34, 2, 0, 0, 0)
  • Fish Crow 19 (29, 2, 0, 0, 0)
  • Ring-necked Pheasant 23 (26, 2, 0, 0, 0)
  • Great Horned Owl 25 (8, 2, 0, 0, 0)
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk 26 (7, 2, 0, 0, 0)
  • Eastern Towhee 21 (7, 2, 0, 0, 0)
  • Wild Turkey 13 (101, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Fox Sparrow 18 (96, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Evening Grosbeak 13 (40, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Wood Duck 16 (28, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Ring-billed Gull 19 (16, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Pine Siskin 15 (14, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Hermit Thrush 18 (10, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Cooper’s Hawk 21 (8, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Common Raven 18 (6, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Red-headed Woodpecker 17 (6, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Eastern Phoebe 18 (5, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Barred Owl 17 (5, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch 14 (5, 1, 0, 0, 0)
  • Extremely Rare Winter Residents or Visitors (frequency of 10-24 percent). The occurrence of these 16 species in any given year may be strongly influenced by local weather conditions, particularly by snow cover and the availability of open water. Species are arranged in decreasing order by maximum counts and years recorded.
  • Virginia Rail 9 (114, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Canvasback 7 (30, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Ruddy Duck 9 (25, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Lesser Scaup 12 (23, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Ring-necked Duck 10 (21, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Chipping sparrow 9 (16, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Gadwall 10 (11, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Northern Pintail 7 (10, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Herring Gull 12 (7, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Bald Eagle 10 (7, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Horned Grebe 10 (5, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Ruffed Grouse 7 (4, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Vesper Sparrow 7 (4, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Common Loon 8 (3, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Rough-legged Hawk 7 (2, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Gray Catbird 6 (2, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Extremely Rare Winter Vagrants (frequency of less than 10 percent). These 24 species are considered to be outside their normal winter ranges. Some may represent late-fall stragglers. Species are arranged in decreasing order by maximum counts, years recorded, and phylogenetic sequence.
  • Snow Goose 5 (22, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Red-breasted Merganser 4 (6, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Northern Shoveler 5 (4, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Blue-winged Teal 4 (4, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Tundra Swan 4 (3, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Broad-winged Hawk 3 (3, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Mute Swan 2 (3, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • American Pipit 2 (3, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Brown Thrasher 4 (2, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow 4 (2, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Peregrine Falcon 2 (2, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Lesser Yellowlegs 2 (2, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • American Woodcock 3 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Merlin 3 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • House Wren 3 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Pine Warbler 3 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Savannah Sparrow 3 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Green Heron 2 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Spotted Sandpiper 2 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Dunlin 2 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Long-eared Owl 2 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Short-eared Owl 2 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Common Yellowthroat 2 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Accidental Vagrants(1 record of occurrence). This category includes 22 species, including 2 observed only during the count week, that are considered to be outside their normal wintering ranges. Species are arranged in decreasing order by maximum counts, years recorded, and phylogenetic sequence.
  • Bonaparte’s Gull 1 (110, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Brant 1 (55, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Greater Scaup 1 (4, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Least Sandpiper 1 (3, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Swainson’s Thrush 1 (2, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Wrentit 1 (2, 0, 0, 0, 0) [an obvious error in the CBC database]
  • Redhead 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Long-tailed Duck 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Red-throated Loon 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Double-crested Cormorant 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Northern Goshawk 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Purple Gallinule 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Great Black-backed Gull 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Barn Owl 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Northern Saw-whet Owl 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Palm Warbler 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Yellow-breasted Chat 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Common Redpoll 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Lapland Longspur 0 (CW, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Snow Bunting 0 (CW, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • Miscellaneous Unidentified Categories
  • unid. chickadees 19 (137, 34, 0, 0, 0)
  • unid. blackbirds 1 (40, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • unid. crows 1 (8, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • unid. Accipiter 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • unid. Buteo 1 (1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • 1 Comments:

    Blogger Robert said...

    Isn't it amazing, all the varieties that visit? We visited a local park and got a handout, listing all the birds visiting here in Livermore CA. It's totally astounding. So little time, soooooo much to learn..... :)

    December 29, 2006 8:44 PM  

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