The 29th annual Eureka Christmas bird count was held on Saturday December 18 on a snowy day that ranged from 17°F to 27°F. Koocanusa Reservoir was unfrozen as were the streams but smaller lakes and ponds were completely frozen. Sixteen people went to the field and 15 feeders were counted as well. We recorded 55 species and 2699 individuals. Again this year, the count was conducted with appropriate Covid-19 protocols which likely contributed to a reduced number of field going observers.
Canada Goose (769) was the most numerous species observed with the Mallard (367) second most observed. The Canada Goose and Mallard numbers combined made up over 40% of the total individuals seen on count day. A record high count was recorded for White-breasted Nuthatch (23) and Brewer’s Blackbird was sighted for the first time since 2005.
A record high count was recorded for White-breasted Nuthatch (23) but Eurasian Collared-doves (27) were the lowest since first appearing on the count in 2009. Mourning Doves (68) outnumbered Eurasian Collared-doves for the first time since both were on the count.
Several species often found on the count were not reported this year including, Rock Pigeon (first ever miss), any accipiter or falcon, Great-blue Heron, and Pine Grosbeak.
Thanks to everyone that helped make this another successful count!
Ellen Sullivan and Lewis Young