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The 122nd Christmas Fowl Depend Abstract


    The 122nd Christmas Fowl Depend is within the books, including to the exceptional worth of the cumulative CBC database as we head towards the century and 1 / 4 mark of information. For examine of the standing of birds within the Americas right here’s nothing else prefer it by way of geographic protection and length of time—even the revered Breeding Fowl Survey has “solely” been run for 56 years. The 2 surveys, particularly when mixed collectively, present an extremely precious useful resource for researchers wanting into the altering standing and ranges of birds throughout North America, and more and more in Latin America as nicely. And not one of the Christmas Fowl Depend—sure, none of it—would occur with out the superb work of each participant, compiler, and regional editor concerned with this system. Some of us assume doing a CBC is primarily a enjoyable (or brutal) day of birding with mates—which it’s—however every guidelines tallied provides to the general worth of the CBC database. Right here’s a heartfelt thank-you to everybody who joins the CBC. It’s a job nicely finished, and we undoubtedly admire your effort and time.

    The 122nd CBC season was a return to near-normal, or maybe a step towards discovering the brand new regular, after two years below the deep shadow of COVID-19. Generally, the climate was “seasonable” throughout the continents, additionally in step with lots of the fall and winter seasons over the previous latest many years. Some areas had storms—both snow or rain—and a few, in fact, had frigid circumstances, particularly towards the tip of the rely interval, however for probably the most half individuals have been out in what has turn out to be the brand new regular for the season.

    The entire variety of counts included on this season’s outcomes was 2621, second solely to the record-setting 120th CBC at 2646 counts, which ended simply earlier than the pandemic was acknowledged. Included in that near-record complete are 43 new counts, 11 in Canada, 18 in the USA, and 14 within the Caribbean and Latin America. The total roster of recent counts within the 122nd CBC is listed in Desk 1—welcome every body!

    The variety of observers within the 122nd Depend additionally rebounded, although not fairly as absolutely because the variety of counts. This isn’t shocking, on condition that we have been nonetheless below the rules needed to attenuate the unfold of Covid, with some of us nonetheless electing to not take part group actions. The entire variety of observers included within the 122nd Christmas Fowl Depend was 76,880, comprised of 64,882 within the area and 11,998 at feeders, the fourth highest ever degree of participation in a CBC season. The regional break downs in participation have been 14,975 observers in Canada (10,618 within the area and 4357 at feeders), 58,654 of us in the USA (51,181 within the area and 7473 at feeders), and 3251 within the Caribbean, Latin America, and Pacific Islands (3083 within the area and 168 at feeders). That is the fourth-highest variety of individuals ever included in a CBC season, with the best within the record-setting 120th CBC, when there have been 81,601 complete observers.

    Managing this degree of participation includes an enormous job for compilers all over the place, particularly for counts with the next attendance. The job is particularly busy for counts with greater than 100 individuals, and particular kudos go to the compilers of all such counts. Desk 2 lists the 83 circles within the 122nd Christmas Fowl Depend with 100 individuals or extra, together with three counts in Colombia and Ecuador. Congratulations and a particular thank-you to all!

    Talking of each new counts and lofty ranges of participation, particular recognition goes to the brand new Richmond, California CBC, a rely that was began to incorporate a extra city viewers, for a incredible first effort. Not solely did Richmond circle recruit 181 individuals on its first rely, however observers additionally had a fabulously profitable day within the area and tallied eight “nationwide excessive counts” as listed in Brent Ortego’s 122nd CBC Season Highest Tallies for People in the USA!

    Trying on the yardstick of the overall variety of birds seen, there have been 42,876,395 birds of all species tallied within the 122nd Christmas Fowl Depend (3,460,743 in Canada, 39,001,827 in the USA, and 413,825 in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Pacific Islands). This complete is on par with the previous a number of seasons however is of concern as in previous many years way more complete birds have been tallied—averaging 60 to 100 million—30 years in the past. This decline in complete avian biomass discovered on the CBC is measured towards the expansion in variety of counts and individuals in the identical time interval, the place the CBC effort and geographic protection practically doubled. The latest paper, together with CBC information, that estimated a 3 billion chicken decline within the North American breeding avifauna, lends credence to this drop within the variety of birds discovered on Christmas Fowl Counts. The Audubon Science staff could be very on this development, and we hope to do analyses on CBC information over this timeframe to find what species, or teams of species, have contributed probably the most to this obvious dramatic decline within the variety of birds in North America.

    Nonetheless, even when the numbers of birds have declined over time, the variety of species tallied on CBCs is superb! Within the 122nd Christmas Fowl Depend, 2554 species have been tallied, plus 483 identifiable types and hybrids. In Canada, 294 species have been discovered, and in the USA the tally was 672 species on rely days, seven Depend Week (CW) species, 59 infraspecific types, and 34 unique/launched species. No new species have been discovered on CBCs in Canada, however three have been added in the USA—Steller’s Sea-Eagle at Freeport-Brunswick, Maine (rely week), Bat Falcon at Santa Ana NWR, Texas, and Social Flycatcher at Brownsville, Texas. Extra on the sea-eagle to comply with, however the Bat Falcon and the Social Flycatcher have been each exceptional first US data current for a while earlier than the rely interval. The truth is, the Brownsville rely, which had been dormant for just a few seasons, was re-started to you’ll want to make sure the inclusion the flycatcher within the CBC!

    Steller's Sea-Eagle.
    Steller’s Sea-Eagle. Photograph: Louis Bevier

    With all these species to be discovered, and the superb geographic protection of the Christmas Fowl Depend, one measure of the success of a given CBC is commonly the variety of species tallied. Evey CBC hopes to satisfy or exceed its historic species degree, even including new species occasionally. Whereas over many of the North American CBC space a tally of fifty or 100 species is usually a milestone to achieve, different counts within the decrease latitudes, particularly in coastal areas or with nice variation in altitude within the neotropics, have the chance to tally way more species. Desk 3 contains the record of counts within the 122nd Christmas Fowl Depend that met or exceeded the 150-species mark on rely day. As soon as once more in the USA and Canada, the Matagorda County-Mad Island Marsh, Texas captures the highest spot at 230 species, whereas within the neotropics the Mindo-Tandayapa, Ecuador tallied 389 species. A number of different counts in each areas are usually not far behind—who is aware of what is going to occur within the upcoming seasons!

    Most Christmas Fowl Depend circles gained’t vie for the highest spots on the 150+ species record, however we will at all times hope to put nicely in species complete inside our area. This is usually a rather more aggressive problem, typically relying upon the climate previous the rely interval, circumstances on rely day, attendance for the season on the rely, and simply plain luck. So, the regional high species tallies are rather more up for grabs every season! Desk 4 lists the counts within the 122nd Christmas Fowl Depend that tallied probably the most species in every area this previous season.

    There have been no shocking continental population-level species shifts through the 122nd CBC. After a giant southward flight within the 121st Depend, boreal finches stayed northward of their extra anticipated ranges. Redpolls and crossbills moved east/west throughout the northern tier and southern Canada, particularly within the west, however that is typically the case in non-irruption seasons. Apparently, the meals recourses have been good within the boreal forest. Even Purple Finches stayed north within the winter of 2021-2022, and Bohemian Waxwings and Pine Grosbeaks additionally stayed north.

    Equally, there was no distinctive southward motion of northern raptors—diurnal or nocturnal. After all, there was a pleasant assortment of Snowy Owl, Tough-legged Hawk, and different boreal/arctic species tallied, however largely within the locations the place they’re anticipated. Who is aware of what awaits us within the upcoming 123rd CBC.

    A bunch of previously extra southern resident species continues their march northward. Mourning Doves, Pink-bellied Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice, and Northern Cardinals all proceed to increase on CBCs within the norther edges of their respective ranges. And a various collection of water-associated species continues to winter farther and farther to the north, as ponds, lakes, and marshes stay open through the CBC season ever farther north. That is mirrored in a downward development in species totals in some areas of the South; waterfowl particularly are staying to the north, to the chagrin of counters particularly within the Southeastern states.

    On the draw back, each Northern Bobwhite and Loggerhead Shrike proceed to say no in most areas, now even of their former strongholds. Whereas bobwhite numbers in some areas are supplemented by launched captive-raised birds, their native populations are dramatically declining in lots of areas. And for causes not absolutely understood, Loggerhead Shrikes are declining nearly all over the place throughout the species’ vary. Christmas Fowl Depend information can undoubtedly assist observe the fortunes of species equivalent to these.

    For individuals desirous about testing the standing and actions of species of curiosity, there are two on-line merchandise that will assist. One is the Development Viewer part within the CBC web site, the place you may discover how species are faring as mirrored prior to now a number of many years of CBC outcomes, which was not too long ago up to date to incorporate the latest CBC seasons. Regional, survey-wide, and time interval choices can be found for viewing—test it out on the “The place Have all of the Birds Gone” tile ! And not too long ago the Audubon Science staff took an enchanting first-ever dive into the longer-term information set accessible within the Christmas Fowl Depend, together with earlier many years that pre-date the Breeding Fowl Survey. In most research, CBC information sooner than the Nineteen Sixties weren’t included as usually researchers have been wanting on the outcomes of each the BBS and the CBC. In Audubon’s latest very long-term CBC development paper “Unraveling a century of world change impacts on winter chicken distributions within the jap United States” printed in International Change Biology, we checked out development information again to the Thirties in comparison with land use information and local weather change, documenting the relative results of each elements on how teams of birds reply. It’s a ground-breaking paper and nicely price a glance!

    One other fascinating useful resource to take a look at is Audubon’s not too long ago launched Fowl Migration Explorer . That is the product of Audubon’s Migratory Fowl Initiaitve, a program that brings collectively for the primary time an incredible compendium of research and sighting information related to the migration of birds in North America. You may discover species, place connections, and conservation challenges all in a enjoyable map-based show. Knowledge from 404 research on 184 species are synthesized, together with banding returns, satellite tv for pc monitoring research, geolocator research, plus eBird information and different sighting information. It’s an unbelievable useful resource and is particularly spectacular to discover the places connection maps. It’s eye-opening to find simply the place the birds that cross by our yard or birding hotspot spend their breeding and non-breeding seasons.

    With the dramatic improve in recognition of chicken watching, rising ability units of observers, and stellar array of chicken identification assets accessible each in books and on our smartphones, we’re getting a quickly rising appreciation and understanding of how birds transfer round. With extra birders on the market capable of acknowledge and determine extra species, and the flexibility to immediately share sightings amongst others, this has been an actual boon to birding. Not solely are we studying the place species go, and when, and simply what number of species are exhibiting up out of their “anticipated” ranges, however we’re additionally extra often even capable of observe particular person wayward birds of their peregrinations throughout the continent. We’re realizing that many of those wayward, out-of-range birds (west to east or east to west), in the event that they survive the winter, will return to precisely the identical “fallacious” spot in successive winters. If it labored as soon as, they’ll hold doing it! Examples have been documented with out-of-range passerines like Summer season Tanager, the place one chicken returned for a number of winters to the identical desert oasis in California. And there’s an growing quantity and number of “out of vary” hummingbirds overwintering repeatedly within the East, many tallied with pleasure on Christmas Fowl Counts. We had one feminine Rufous Hummingbird (named “Rufie” by the native birding group) that returned for eight consecutive winters to the identical feeder in western Massachusetts.

    One living proof is the Heermann’s Gull, a species usually restricted to the Pacific Coast, that’s been touring up and down the Atlantic Coast from Florida to Massachusetts for the previous couple of years. Observers have been capable of comply with what seems to be the identical chicken, not solely its actions but additionally documenting its transition from immature to sub-adult to grownup plumages, all through its journey. And this 122nd Christmas Fowl Depend season the chicken was tallied on the Litchfield-Pawleys Island, South Carolina CBC because it flew by. This species, in fact, will not be new to the Christmas Fowl Depend, however is a superb chicken on the east coast of North America.

    Nonetheless, probably the star chicken of the 122nd Christmas Fowl Depend and for birders over a lot of North America, was the well-known, far-wandering, grownup Steller’s Sea-Eagle. Photograph documentation of this chicken, which has some distinctive plumage traits in its white epaulettes, signifies that one particular person Steller’s Sea-Eagle has made a grand tour of North America, far exceeding another identified instance of this species. Steller’s Sea-Eagle is among the three largest species of eagle on this planet, tied with the Harpy Eagle of Latin America and the Philippine Eagle of the Philippines. It’s a huge chicken, seeming to dwarf the Bald Eagles that (in North America) could also be current with it. This specific chicken was first seen, and photographed, on the Denali Freeway in south central Alaska in August of 2020. Whereas Alaska is the one North American location with occasional data of this species, most others have been alongside or close to the coast, particularly within the Aleutians and different offshore islands. This species’ regular vary is on the Asian facet of the North Pacific.

    The Denali Freeway sighting was a one-time-wonder, an extremely fortunate encounter by one touring birder who luckily was armed with a digicam. It was weird in that this was within the inside of Alaska, and an grownup chicken, however definitely throughout the realm of chance of a wandering particular person.

    Nonetheless, in March of 2021, an grownup Steller’s Sea-Eagle was seen by a non-birder alongside a creek in southeastern Texas. They knew it was a very odd wanting eagle and had the presence of thoughts to each {photograph} it and present it to amazed native birding mates. A lot to the chagrin of the native birding group, this was additionally a one-time, single-observer sighting. Pictures present this seems like the identical particular person chicken that had been within the inside of Alaska the summer time prior.

    Subsequent, from June by November of 2021, based mostly upon many images, the identical chicken traveled across the Atlantic Provinces of Canada, thrilling observers in New Brunswick, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. Then it disappeared…for a short while. It reappeared in mid-December in southeastern Massachusetts, current for only some days. After a brief hiatus, it was then discovered alongside the mid-coast of Maine, the place it wandered regionally from late December 2021 into early February of 2022—together with through the 122nd CBC interval.

    After an extended hiatus, the wandering chicken was first briefly seen in April 2022, first in Nova Scotia after which shortly afterward in far jap Newfoundland, after which for a lot of August 2022 in a unique a part of Newfoundland, the place it apparently summered.

    In late November of 2022, the chicken had moved southward and was discovered once more for a few days alongside the coast of jap New Brunswick. Its whereabouts have been unknown—or unreported—since then.

    This one particular person Steller’s Sea-Eagle has in all probability been seen by extra human beings than another of its species, ever. And it’s definitely probably the most widely-traveled. In all of these travels it’s identified to have visited many Christmas Fowl Depend circles: Restigouche and Bouctouche, New Brunswick; Pictou Harbour and West Hants, Nova Scotia; Bathtub-Phippsburg-Georgetown, Freeport-Brunswick, and Pemaquid-Damariscotta, Maine; and Taunton-Middleboro, Massachusetts. Of all these circles, solely Freeport-Brunswick, Maine was capable of tally the chicken, even there once more a one-day-wonder and solely throughout rely week. To date, that’s…presently birders within the Northeast are anxiously awaiting the following arrival. Possibly we’ll be capable to tally it on rely day on a CBC within the 123rd Depend.

    Again to much less spectacular, however nonetheless fascinating, long-returning, and weird species, my outdated buddy (actually) the Lesser Black-backed Gull had returned to its rock, and cove, on the coast of Rhode Island final fall, because it has for nicely over 15 years. For a quantity or causes, a lot to my displeasure, I used to be once more unable to affix my conventional Christmas Fowl Counts in Rhode Island, which was particularly irritating as I knew we’d have entry to the Ninigret N.W.R. the place the gull was in residence. Since I started doing CBCs in Rhode Island within the late Nineteen Seventies, Lesser Black-backed Gulls have gone from changing into a stellar rarity to an anticipated, if unusual species. So reasonably than hoping for the inclusion of “my” chicken as the only instance of the species on the South Kingstown CBC, it’s turn out to be considered one of a number of which are generally tallied. However we all know, once we see this chicken on its rock on its cove, that it’s the identical 20+ year-old chicken we’ve been tallying for years. As a result of birds, like individuals, turn out to be set of their methods.

    My long-time CBC birding companion Doug was capable of entry the refuge through the rely this previous season, however shockingly there have been practically no birds of any species in Ninigret Pond, the place we’ve got discovered the gull for the previous twenty years. Maybe the climate was too good, the tide situation was fallacious, or the wind, or the meals assets, or no matter, weren’t proper. That’s the luck of birding and the CBC. However no gulls, no geese, no something. Just about simply open water. “Our” Lesser Black-backed Gull, although identified to be current, was not tallied within the 122nd Christmas Fowl Depend season. It was a “rely week” chicken—identical to the Steller’s Sea-Eagle in Maine.

    Is that this Lesser Black-backed Gull that we’ve watched for occurring 20 years again this coming season? I don’t know, since there are a number of birds of this species now being present in Rhode Island, together with this fall, and I haven’t been all the way down to the Refuge to take a look at the rock in the cove for the chicken. However this one gull, like “Knowledge” the now 70+ year-old Laysan Albatross on Halfway Island, helps doc that birds inform us how we’re doing by way of our stewardship of the setting through which all of us exist. Birds are wondrous, and fantastic. We have to proceed to pay particular consideration to how they’re doing, and the efforts of everybody on each Christmas Fowl Depend all over the place assist us try this.

    Thanks a lot as soon as once more for all of your efforts on the Christmas Fowl Depend, an see you on the market within the area.