[CT Birds] (Part III) Connecticut Christmas Bird Count - A Preliminary Look

Stephen Broker ls.broker at cox.net
Sat Feb 12 17:46:34 EST 2011

 From Steve Broker (Cheshire):

The 2010-2011 Connecticut Christmas Bird Count:  A Preliminary Look

PART III. Mockingthrushes to Passerids

Hermit Thrush – shows fairly fluctuating numbers year to year, but  
lower this time

American Robin – one-quarter last year’s eye-popping total, but still  
more than 10,000 kept bob-bob-bobbing along

Northern Mockingbird – 50% more than last year’s total, but 50% fewer  
than in the 1980s and 1990s

Brown Thrasher – always tough to find on a CBC; 8 total, including 3  
at Napatree

European Starling – 3rd lowest since time began

American Pipit – 2nd highest due to numbers at Quinnipiac Valley &  
Old Lyme-Saybrook

Wood Warblers:
(in general, a poor showing again this year)

Orange-crowned Warbler – 1 at Napatree

Yellow-rumped Warbler – record low Connecticut total, although  
Napatree did find a good number

Pine Warbler – 1 at New London, 2 at Napatree

Common Yellowthroat – 1 at Pawling, 1 at Greenwich-Stamford; we  
should be happy with this, as they are harder to find than they used  
to be

Palm Warbler – 2 at New Haven

Yellow-breasted Chat – 2 at New Haven, 2 at Napatree

Eastern Towhee – 3rd highest number spotted (no, not Spotted!) in 18  

American Tree Sparrow – somewhat reduced numbers for the better (or  
worse) part of the past 10 years

Clay-colored Sparrow – 1 at Napatree; the 6th year in the last 14  
that this species makes the “statewide” count

Field Sparrow – record low, and barely 60% of last year’s previous  
record low.  Ouch!

Savannah ‘Ipswich’ Sparrow – ties the 30-year high count; it pays to  
blend in

Nelson’s Sparrow – 2 at old Lyme-Saybrook; seen in previous years,  
but not necessarily under this name

Seaside Sparrow – 3 at Old Lyme-Saybrook; one of the most difficult  
sparrows to find on
a coastal count

Fox Sparrow – 70 reported on the statewide count and an additional 18  
at Napatree (which we happily share with Rhode Island); can’t get  
enough of this handsome bird

Song Sparrow – less singing this year that usual

Lincoln’s Sparrow – kudos to Hartford (1) and Woodbury-Roxbury (1)

Dickcissel – 1 at Woodbury-Roxbury; works for us every third year or so

Red-winged Blackbird – average numbers for a species with a big  
standard deviation; that’s not intended as a slam

Eastern Meadowlark – 1 at Oxford, 13 at Old Lyme-Saybrook, 5 at  
Napatree; mostly gone but not forgotten

Rusty Blackbird – highest in 30 years; reported on 12 counts, notably  
67 at Hartford, 79 at Quinnipiac Valley, 65 at Salmon River.  Have  
you submitted your e-Bird reports?

Common Grackle – barely 10% of last year’s total of 32,000  
individuals.  Talk about standard deviations!

Boat-tailed Grackle – 11 at Stratford-Milford keep us in the  
spotlight for this species

Brown-headed Cowbird – a mere 1,000 and representing a 30-year low

Baltimore Oriole – 1 at New Haven stands alone

Purple Finch – low number

House Finch – the last 3 years have seen the lowest totals in 30  
annual counts

White-winged Crossbill – 11 at Quinnipiac Valley; that’s it!

Common Redpoll – 32 at Barkhamsted and 66 at Stratford-Milford  
account for nearly all counted this year

Pine Siskin – their numbers fluctuate widely; 146 statewide is pretty  
much in the middle for the last score of years

American Goldfinch – somewhat low numbers

House Sparrow – a normal total – if normal is the right word for an  
introduced species

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