[CT Birds] Winter Low Species Totals (Preliminary CBC Results)

Linda & Steve Broker ls.broker at cox.net
Mon Feb 15 10:57:27 EST 2010

 From Steve Broker (Cheshire):

This post is on the two dozen or so bird species counted in low or  
record low numbers on the 2009-10 Connecticut Christmas Bird Count.   
As is the case with the previous post on CBC bird species counted in  
high or record high numbers, it is based on the 12 Connecticut count  
circles that have posted results on the National Audubon Society  
BirdSource website or sent them to me.  The results of six additional  
Connecticut counts have not been shared at present.

The following species may establish new low totals for the statewide  
Christmas Bird Count:  American Black Duck; Mallard; Pied-billed  
Grebe; Horned Grebe; Great Blue Heron; American Kestrel; Virginia  
Rail; Purple Sandpiper; Bonaparte’s Gull; Herring Gull; Great Black- 
backed Gull; Eastern Screech-Owl; Great Horned Owl; Mourning Dove;  
Belted Kingfisher; Hairy Woodpecker; Black-capped Chickadee; Northern  
Mockingbird; European Starling; American Tree Sparrow; Field Sparrow;  
Song Sparrow; Swamp Sparrow; House Finch; House Sparrow.

A percentage of the species listed above will prove to have occurred  
in at least average numbers when all count circles have submitted  
results.  Possible explanations for low numbers of the remaining  
species include the following, which will be discussed further in The  
Connecticut Warbler:  (1) fewer field observers and feeder watchers  
during owling and daytime hours this year; (2) the rescheduling of  
some Sunday, December 20 counts to later dates out of concern for the  
snowstorm of the night before. This may not have resulted in more  
favorable weather conditions on the new count days. (3) cold weather,  
producing extensive areas of frozen still water and partly frozen  
moving water; (4) continued trends in population declines over a  
decade or more from habitat loss and other causes. (See the  
Connecticut Audubon Society report, “Connecticut State of the Birds  
2009” in its guide to endangered species and conservation matrix.)  
(5) continued impacts of closed landfills; (6) species exhibiting  
recent declines in populations.

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