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Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count 2006

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
January 2, 2007

by Mike Jaques

Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count 2006 

The 63rd annual Christmas Bird Count took place onTuesday December 27th 2006. It was one of over 2000 counts taking place throughout the Americas over the Christmas period. The count area is a circle of 15 miles diameter centered on the bridge over the Mississippi River in Carleton Place and including Almonte, Appleton and Ashton. The first count was conducted in 1944 by George and Douglas Findlay and three others.

The weather on the day was mostly cloudy with temperatures between -10°C and -6°C. There was some snow on the ground but unusually mild weather until Christmas meant that Mississippi Lake was wide open. This was unprecedented and resulted in large numbers of ducks being seen on the lake and many records being broken.

The number of species seen was 44, which is average. The number of birds counted was 6615, which is above average. The all-time highs are 50 species and 8855 birds. No new species for the count were tallied, but the first Great Blue Heron since 1997 and the first Belted Kingfisher since 1998 was found. For the second year in succession a Carolina Wren was seen at a feeder in Carleton Place and other lingering summer birds were found. There were no Evening Grosbeaks or Common Redpolls and generally lower numbers of the winter birds from the north.

There were record highs counts and ties for record for the following species (previous highs in brackets):

Great Blue Heron 1 (1 in 1997)

Canada Goose 395 (318 in 2003)

Common Goldeneye 82 (64 in 2005)

Common Merganser 291 (34 in 1988)

Bald Eagle 4 (2 in 2003)

Cooper’s Hawk 3 (3 in 2003)

Red-tailed Hawk 21 (21 in 2001)

Downy Woodpecker 106 (101 in 1981)

White-breasted Nuthatch 139 (139 in 1982)

Carolina Wren 1 (1 in 2005)

The count was organized by Cliff Bennett. At the end of the day the field observers gathered at the 7 West Cafe to see the field results displayed. Georgina Doe organized the feeder counts and Mike Jaques compiled the final results. The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists sponsored the count and 27 field observers and 38 feeder operators took part.

A list of all species seen and their numbers is as follows:

Great Blue Heron 1
Canada Goose 395
Ring-necked Duck 1
Common Goldeneye 82
Common Merganser 291
Bald Eagle 4
Northern Harrier 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2
Cooper’s Hawk 3
Red-tailed Hawk 21
Rough-legged Hawk 18
Ruffed Grouse 18
Wild Turkey 103
Ring-billed Gull 2
Rock Pigeon 729
Mourning Dove 335
Belted Kingfisher 1
Downy Woodpecker 106
Hairy Woodpecker 89
Pileated Woodpecker 8
Northern Shrike 3
Blue Jay 374
American Crow 417
Common Raven 7
Black-capped Chickadee 982
Red-breasted Nuthatch 15
White-breasted Nuthatch 139
Brown Creeper 2
Carolina Wren 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3
American Robin 1
European Starling 753
Cedar Waxwing 102
American Tree Sparrow 285
Dark-eyed Junco 110
Snow Bunting 307
Northern Cardinal 49
Red-winged Blackbird 3
Common Grackle 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Purple Finch 4
House Finch 57
American Goldfinch 624
House Sparrow 164

Also seen in the count week, but not on the day, were Pine Siskins.

Mike Jaques