The 23rd annual Kalispell Christmas Bird Count was held Sunday, Jan. 2nd, a day with calm winds that started sunny and finished with overcast skies. We had 36 participants in 18 parties, who reported temperatures from -2F in the morning to 23F in the afternoon, and snow depths of 2-23 inches. Our efforts included more than 88 hours and 775 mi. by car, 14 hours and 19 mi. on foot, 1.5 hr and 2 mi. on skis, and 7 hours by feeder watchers.
We tallied 15,263 individuals of 77 species (plus 6 forms), and 3 additional species count week. Lesser Goldfinch (2) was a new species for the count, and Peregrine Falcon, Long-eared Owl, and Rusty Blackbird (3) were each found for just the second time. We tied or set new high count totals for Prairie Falcon, Pileated Woodpecker, Townsend’s Solitaire, and Rusty Blackbird.
Our most notable misses were Wood Duck and American Dipper, each seen on more than half of all previous counts. Thanks to all!