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2012 Christmas Bird Count

December 18, 2012 Posted by: BW - Volunteer Interpreter

2012 Christmas Bird Count

Last Sunday over 40 enthusiastic birders braved the cold temperatures to participate in the 113th annual Christmas Bird Count. This nationwide event is sponsored by the National Audubon Society and features local groups identifying and counting every bird they see in a given area for one day. When the results are compiled, they provide invaluable information about bird population trends. Yosemite had groups counting in the vicinity of El Portal, Foresta, Yosemite Valley, and Badger Pass. This year 2,258 individual birds and 64 species were counted. As you might expect, winter conditions kept most bird activity at lower elevations with more than half the observations coming from El Portal and only 62 from Badger Pass. Notable sightings included, eight raptor species (including a Northern harrier, a Northern goshawk, and two peregrine falcons); nine woodpecker species (including two Williamson's sapsuckers); and a Western Meadowlark. For a complete list of the birds counted this year, see the table below.

Participants surveying for birds during the 2012 Christmas Bird Count

2012 Christmas Bird Count participants surveying for birds. (Photo credit: Lee Tarnay)

Table 1. 2012 Christmas Bird Count Totals

Species

Number Counted

Common Merganser

4

Mountain Quail

1

California Quail

11

Great Blue Heron

2

Northern Harrier

1

Sharp-shinned Hawk

2

Northern Goshawk

1

Red-shouldered Hawk

5

Red-tailed Hawk

11

Golden Eagle

2

American Kestrel

1

Peregrine Falcon

2

Band-tailed Pigeon

42

Mourning Dove

15

Anna's Hummingbird

5

Belted Kingfisher

3

Acorn Woodpecker

182

Williamson's Sapsucker

2

Red-breasted Sapsucker

5

Nuttall's Woodpecker

9

Downy Woodpecker

8

Hairy Woodpecker

8

White-headed Woodpecker

11

Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)

30

Pileated Woodpecker

1

Black Phoebe

13

Hutton's Vireo

1

Steller's Jay

119

Western Scrub-Jay

62

Common Raven

90

Mountian Chickadee

92

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

3

Oak Titmouse

30

Bushtit

82

Red-breasted Nuthatch

9

White-breasted Nuthatch

4

Brown Creeper

26

Canyon Wren

6

Bewick's Wren

4

American Dipper

8

Golden-crowned Kinglet

36

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

139

Western Bluebird

111

Townsend's Solitaire

1

Hermit Thrush

10

American Robin

651

Varied Thrush

2

Wrentit

8

California Thrasher

2

European Starling

27

Cedar Waxwing

40

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)

7

Spotted Towhee

22

California Towhee

31

Rufous-crowned Sparrow

7

Song Sparrow

1

Lincoln's Sparrow

2

Golden-crowned Sparrow

55

Oregon Dark-eyed Junco

182

Western Meadowlark

1

Brewer's Blackbird

1

Purple Finch

1

Pine Siskin

2

Lesser Goldfinch

6

Total Observations

2258

Nature Scene, Science in the Park, Bird Monitoring and Research, Yosemite Valley, BW




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