Bird count results: Lowest ever recorded

Local News

FILE- In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, birds vie for position on power lines at dusk in Kansas City, Kan. The Biden administration said Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, it was delaying a rule finalized in former President Donald Trump’s last days in office that would have drastically weakened the government’s power to enforce a century-old law protecting most wild birds. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

The results of the 2021 Christmas Bird Count, which was conducted by members of the Eagle Nature Foundation and the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation on Dec. 16, have just been released by Terrence N. Ingram, the compiler for this count ever since its inception in 1966.

The number of birds and the variety of birds counted during this year’s count is the lowest ever recorded, Ingram says in a news release. Only 889 birds of 33 species were counted by the four teams and bird feeder watchers.

During the first count in 1966 conducted by two persons on one team, 1,370 birds were counted.

The results of the 2021 count reflect the decline in bird life that is being seen all across the nation and was documented in Ingram’s book, “Silent Fall.” For example, only 90 house sparrows were counted this year, while more than 1,800 were sighted in 1971. Only 47 American Goldfinches were counted this year, while more than 500 were seen in 1964.

Other statistics include:

  • No Common Redpolls were counted this year, while 370 were counted in 1970
  • Only 16 Northern Cardinals were counted this year, while 640 were counted in 1968
  • Only 39 Dark-eyed Juncos were counted this year, while 1,908 were counted in 2012
  • Only 12 American Tree Sparrows were counted this year, while 1,083 were counted in 1981
  • Only 48 Cedar Waxwings were counted this year, while 750 were counted in 1993
  • Only 13 starlings were counted this year, while 1,472 were counted in 1996
  • Only 15 robins were counted this year, while 821 were counted in 1981
  • Only 17 blue jays were counted this year, while 281 were counted in 2004
  • Only 35 mourning doves were counted this year, while 427 were counted in 2004
  • Only 20 Rock Pigeons were counted this year, while 460 were counted in 1996
  • Only 15 Red-tailed Hawks were counted this year, while 184 were counted in 1995.

No turkeys were counted this year, while 334 were counted in 2002. No Snow Buntings were counted this year, while 142 were counted in 2010.

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