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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

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Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count 2005

Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count 2005

Carleton Place Count: click for detailed statistics  – species seen and their numbers by sector within the count circle.

The 62nd annual Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count took place on Tuesday December 27th 2005. The count area is a circle of 15 miles diameter centered on the bridge over the Mississippi River in Carleton Place and included Almonte, most of Ramsay and Beckwith, some of Drummond and an adjacent part of the City of Ottawa . In the morning the sky was clear with a temperature of -8°C and in the afternoon it was -3°C and cloudy. There was lots of snow on the ground but mild weather beforehand resulted in many streams and the Mississippi River being more open than usual. 39 field observers and 31 feeder operators took part.

The number of species seen was 47, which is above average. The number of birds counted was 7473, which is also above average. The all-time highs are 50 species and 8855 birds. No new species for the count were tallied, but the first American Black Duck since 1995 was found on the Mississippi near the Highway 7 bridge, the second-only Golden Eagle was seen near Ashton, and the second-only Carolina Wren was seen at a feeder in Carleton Place, the first since 1975.

There were also record highs counts of the following species:

Common Goldeneye 64 (previous high 43 in 1991)

Wild Turkey 169 (previous high 72 in 2004)

Barred Owl 2 (tied previous highs)

Black-capped Chickadee 1320 (previous high 1230 in 1994).

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.Team leaders in the field were Iain Wilkes, Mike Jaques of Carleton Place, Tine Kuiper, Lynda Bennett, of Ramsay; Brenda Carter, Merrickville, Al Potvin, Allan Goddard, Pip Winters, Almonte, Don Brown, Kanata, Arnie Simpson, Beckwith.

A list of all species seen and their numbers follows:

Canada Goose 14

American Black Duck 1

Mallard 5

Common Goldeneye 64

Common Merganser 5

Bald Eagle 1

Sharp-shinned Hawk 1

Northern Goshawk 1

Red-tailed Hawk 2

Rough-legged Hawk 2

Golden Eagle 1

Ruffed Grouse 3

Wild Turkey 169

Rock Pigeon 891

Mourning Dove 233

Barred Owl 2

Downy Woodpecker 77

Hairy Woodpecker 81

Pileated Woodpecker 4

Northern Shrike 6

Blue Jay 447

American Crow 390

Common Raven 11

Horned Lark 7

Black-capped Chickadee 1320

Red-breasted Nuthatch 12

White-breasted Nuthatch 116

Brown Creeper 3

Carolina Wren 1

Golden-crowned Kinglet 6

European Starling 541

Bohemian Waxwing 850

Cedar Waxwing 55

Eastern Towhee 1

American Tree Sparrow 119

Song Sparrow 1

White-throated Sparrow 2

Dark-eyed Junco 80

Snow Bunting 1123

Northern Cardinal 48

Red-winged Blackbird 2

Pine Grosbeak 27

Purple Finch 3

House Finch 3

Common Redpoll 276

Pine Siskin 39

American Goldfinch 295

Evening Grosbeak 97

House Sparrow 91

Also seen in the count week, but not on the day, were Cooper’s Hawk, American Kestrel and Merlin.

Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count

The following is from Cliff Bennett, compiler of the Lanark Highlands CBC, which is centred on the village of Watson’s Corners, NW of Lanark Village in Lanark County:

The 3rd Annual Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count took place on Friday, Dec. 30. The weather was mild, with partly sunny skies and little or no winds. However, the back country roads were very icy and getting out to walk was downright treacherous. The count yielded a lower tally than last year, probably much to do with the icy walking conditions.

Twenty-five counters took to the field and recorded 36 different species , one more than last year’s record. However, the total number of individual birds was over 400 fewer than last year. The real success story though, was the count from eleven different feeder observers spread around the circles.
They listed 719 birds, up about 350 from last year’s count.

Three new species for the count were recorded; a goshawk, two Canada geese and a red-breasted merganser. One species conspicuous by its absence was the great gray owl and significantly lower scores than last year were listed for ruffed grouse, hairy woodpecker, blue jays, crows, chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, Bohemian waxwings and pine grosbeaks.

New records were set for wild turkeys (100), rock pigeons, red-breasted nuthatches, juncoes, pine siskins, American goldfinch and house sparrows.

Pakenham-Arnprior Counts: click for detailed statistics

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Naturalists Learn the Science of Bird Song

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
Submitted by Cliff Bennett
April 29, 2005

Naturalists Learn the Science of Bird Song

Bluebird IllustrationBird song was the subject of the most recent monthly meeting of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) held at the Almonte United Church on Thursday, April 21.

With the aid of slides and sound recordings, Dr. Bruce Falls, noted ornithologist and scientist, shared with his audience a scientist’s perspective on the world of bird song. “We enjoy hearing birds, but their songs are really directed at other birds”, he explained as he began his in-depth presentation. A retired professor, Dr. Falls spent his career teaching and performing research at the University of Toronto’s Department of Zoology, where he was involved in pioneering studies in bird behaviour.

Introduced by MVFN host for the evening Rod Bhar, Dr. Falls began his talk by explaining how birds produce their songs. He illustrated some of the unique physical adaptations that allow birds to produce sounds. He also reviewed some key experiments that led to our current understanding that bird song is both learned and inherited by the members of individual species.

In the last half of the presentation, Dr. Falls explained why birds sing. He explored some of the studies that he and others have been involved in that show how male birds use song to mark their territories, attract mates, and scare off intruders.

The talk was followed by a question and answer session. Members of the audience came away from the presentation with a new perspective on the complexities of bird song and how it forms an essential part of the survival and reproductive strategies of many bird species.

Mr. Bhar thanked the speaker and presented him with a gift basket of local herbal products.

Coming up in the near future is MVFN’s 17th Annual General Meeting, to be held at Union Hall on Thursday May 19th. The general public is welcome to attend. Feature of the evening will be a sound and slide presentation by noted local photographer Bill Pratt.

Other programme items include canoeing Contstance Creek, led by Rod Bhar on Sunday May 29 and a walk in the natural world of Mer Bleu, date to be announced. For more information on MVFN and events, go to the website www.mvfn.ca.

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Amherst Island Adventure 2005

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
February 26, 2005

Amherst Island Adventure 2005

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On Saturday, Feb. 5th, twenty-six MVFN members and friends descended upon Amherst Island ferry early in the morning to sail to the island for hopefully, some quality bird watching. The expedition was led by Chris Grooms, Eastern Ontario Ontario Nature Coordinator.

The weather was bright and near perfect, until the car convoy passed by Elgin and into a solid fog bank. The fog stayed with us the whole day, making the spotting of white snowy owls in white fog and against white snow, virtually impossible. The fog might explain how one van load of participants ended up at the Wolfe Island ferry in downtown Kingston and thus missed the 10:30 sailing of the Amherst ferry. We doubled back to meet them getting off the 11:30 ferry on the island one hour later.

The group convoyed around the island, making several stops to catch a glimpse of hawks and owls. Parking on a main road, we trekked into the famous owl woods where most of the owls are usually logged. However, after a couple of hours, in which we took time for our lunch stop, we were only able to find a boreal owl and one great gray owl.

Back out in the open in the afternoon, we were able to find many short-eared owls flitting from tree to post in the fog. Back on the ferry and cutting through the pan ice, we found many ducks and a few gulls. All-in-all, the trip was very successful and, we finally got out of the fog on the way home just north of Smiths Falls.

MVFN members participating in the Amherst Island expedition were Jim and Yvonne Bendell, Rod Bhar and his mother Jill Bhar, Sheila Edwards, Chris Hume, Mary and Howard Robinson, Maida Lowe, Tine Kuiper, John and Sandra McManus and their son and Cliff Bennett. The rest of the group were friends and guests.

Below is the observation list from the day (30 species altogether):

Crow, Rock Pigeon, Chickadee, Blue Jay, Common Goldeneye, Herring Gull, Ring Billed Gull

Northern Harrier (female), Horned Lark, Mourning Dove,Starling, Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow

Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Common Merganser, Bufflehead, Boreal Owl

Great Gray Owl, Cardinal, Ring-necked Pheasant, Robin, Brown Thrasher, Goldfinch

Horned Lark, White-breasted Nuthatch, Short-eared Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-breasted

Merganser, Rough-legged Hawk.

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Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count 2004

Press Release
Written by:  Mike Jaques
January 5, 2005

The 61st annual Carleton Place Audubon Christmas Bird Count took place on Monday December 27th. Birds were counted within a circle of 15 miles diameter centered on the bridge over the Mississippi River in Carleton Place. The weather was bitterly cold but sunny with moderate wind-chill factor and lots of snow on the ground. Mississippi Lake, River and streams were frozen except where water was fast flowing. 27 field observers and 27 feeder operators took part in the count.

The number of species recorded was 45, a little better than usual. However, the number of birds counted was 4480, which is lower than normal. Two species never before seen on our count were tallied: a Tufted Titmouse near Almonte and an Eastern Towhee in Carleton Place. Both were coming to feeders in the weeks before the count and graciously stayed to be counted.

There were record high counts of four species:

Wild Turkey 72 (previous high 49 in 2001)

Great Gray Owl 2 (previous high 1, last seen in 2000)

Bald Eagle 2 (tied the previous high from 2003)

Barred Owl 2 (tied the previous high from 1984)

At the end of the day the field observers gathered at the 7 West Cafe to report their findings, enjoy refreshments and view the field results displayed on the master chart. The count was organized by on behalf of Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists by Cliff Bennett. Georgina Doe organized the feeder counts and Mike Jaques compiled the final results. Bennett thanked all participants for their efforts under trying weather conditions.

A list of all species recorded and their numbers is as follows;

Canada Goose 3

Common Goldeneye 40

Hooded Merganser 1

Common Merganser 1

Bald Eagle 2

Sharp-shinned Hawk 2

Northern Goshawk 2

Red-tailed Hawk 6

Rough-legged Hawk 1

Ruffed Grouse 14

Wild Turkey 72

Rock Pigeon 626

Mourning Dove 286

Barred Owl 2

Great Gray Owl 2

Downy Woodpecker 57

Hairy Woodpecker 64

Pileated Woodpecker 6

Northern Shrike 3

Blue Jay 300

American Crow 297

Common Raven 21

Horned Lark 15

Black-capped Chickadee 1038

Tufted Titmouse 1

Red-breasted Nuthatch 4

White-breasted Nuthatch 101

American Robin 3

European Starling 225

Bohemian Waxwing 46

Cedar Waxwing 55

Eastern Towhee 1

American Tree Sparrow 110

Song Sparrow 2

Dark-eyed Junco 35

Lapland Longspur 3

Snow Bunting 78

Northern Cardinal 65

Purple Finch 4

House Finch 17

Common Redpoll 328

Pine Siskin 23

American Goldfinch 278

Evening Grosbeak 6

House Sparrow 234

Bird Counts:

Xmas Bird Count 2004

Field Report

Feeder Report

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