by Pete Fisher

Great Gray Owl during Kalispell 2020 CBC – Photo Credit: Tony Lloyd

The 22nd Kalispell Christmas Bird Count held on Sunday, January 3, 2021, recorded a total of 77 species, a number which is about average for this count. Highlights included the first ever Canvasback (small slough at southern end of Woodland Avenue) and first ever Short-eared Owl (hunting at dusk in West Valley near junction of Springcreek and Clark Roads). Also, the second ever Great Gray Owl was discovered (Bowdish Road) on count day.  Amazingly, two other count week Great Gray Owls were reported (Lone Pine State Park and Brady Way).  Species that were found in record numbers included Trumpeter Swan (16), Green-winged Teal (40), Clark’s Nutcracker (29) and Red-breasted Nuthatch (124).

Many thanks go out to the intrepid observers that contributed data despite the worst disease pandemic in over 100 years.