by Gene Reckin
The 51st Libby Christmas bird count took place December 19 with 16 field observers and 9 feeder watchers. The day was cloudy to partly cloudy with a low in the morning of 33 degrees and an afternoon high of 40 and calm to a slight breeze. It was a comfortable day for our count and a very welcome opportunity for a socially distanced activity. 53 species and 3678 birds total were recorded. It was not a day for rare species for us though we did pick up a Northern Shrike which is often hard to come by. Our Canada Goose number continues to grow from a low of 5 in 1985 to an all time high of 852 this year. Bald eagles were abundant at 137 (97 adults and 40 immature) with the Kootenai open and salmon available, but another year has passed with no gull species which have been common on many previous counts. We greatly appreciate 6 new participants this year.