by Ellen Sullivan and Lewis Young
The 28th annual Eureka Christmas bird count was held on Friday, December 18 in mild weather that ranged from 34°F to 40°F. The count this year was conducted with appropriate Covid-19 protocols which accounted for a reduced number of field going observers. Sixteen people went to the field and 16 feeders were counted as well. Fifty-six species were recorded which is well below our record high of 72 species in 2014 but still pretty good considering our reduced number of field observers. The total number of individual birds was 3282 which is well within the range of numbers we have recorded in past years.
Canada Goose (759) was the most numerous species observed and other most common birds included Bohemian Waxwing (551), Wild Turkey (338), Black-capped Chickadee (182), Common Raven (168), and Mallard (158). Only 1-3 individuals were seen for 16 species such as Ruffed Grouse, Common Loon, Golden Eagle, Great Horned Owl, Northern Pygmy Owl, Northern Shrike, Brown Creeper, Prairie Falcon, and Merlin. The species may change from year to year but the low numbers of numerous species happens every year. A record high count was recorded for Barrow’s Goldeneye (12) and American Coot (18). No species new to the count were reported this year, leaving a total of 123 that have been seen at least once in 28 years.
Thanks to everyone that helped make this a successful count during the pandemic!