Concord CBC: An Unprecedented Year

GBHE_07-St-Annes-Marsh-02042021Our 61st winter bird count has ended. Please join us again on count day, January 2, 2022. Big thanks to all of you for participating and leading. A typical count circle has thirty to forty participants and we had a small increase with 287 total feeder watchers and field birders–about twenty over last year’s enrollment.

A few notable achievements: we are rich in great horned owls and clearly set a new record count. I might attribute this to twelve more party-hours above last year’s effort for a total of 45.63 party-hours owling and a likely high detection rate of 1.88 GHOWs per party-hour. One of our birding high achievers stood along an expansive portion of the Sudbury River marshland and heard six at once!

Red-bellied woodpeckers are unrestrained, again, with 200 over last year’s number and 166 over the record high of four years ago. And this with level participation. In fact, this looked like another year of the woodpecker with high totals on all the species.

Common ravens are successful breeders in the circle so we’ll see how many individuals can fit inside going forward. A small creep upward again. Check out the video below.

Lows: Ring-billed gull still in free-fall. Golden-crowned kinglets and cedar waxwings were scarce and if not for Lincoln’s 66+ CEDWs concentrated around Valley Pond in the SE edge the number would be fewer than half the total. Acton, Concord, and Wayland found the rest.

Rare birds?  A varied thrush overwintering at a feeder in Sudbury enduring an onslaught of aggressive robins.Great Horned Owl audio link small

One of our great horned owl pairs raised at least one chick, now a teenager, heard recently sounding off along Valley Pond, and three common ravens, nurtured on Codman Farm free-range chicken eggs, fledged last spring in the Lincoln CBC sector! Watch the moving spectrogram and listen to the screaming kids. We hope the entire family joins us on Count Day 2022. (Recorded June 8, 2021.)


January 3, 2021

This message marks the launch of our 61st winter bird count. Two questions: Will the winter finch invasion last until count day? And will we have a count January 3? I can’t speak to the first question because we’ve witnessed dramatic irruptive events in October and November only to see the purple finches, evening grosbeaks, crossbills, and redpolls vanish before the big day arrives. There is hope though for some late south-going arrivals such as pine grosbeak, bohemian waxwing, and with crazy luck a boreal chickadee as these three species have crossed the mid-state border. . . .

Many thanks to our sponsor, Sudbury Valley Trustees, for their support and SVT-LOGOaccommodations in years past; we’ve already made a countdown reservation for January 2022. Several SVT properties are censused during the count. Please become a member if you have not joined.


The Christmas Bird Couaudubon-logo-post-pagent is owned and operated by National Audubon Society in partnership with Bird Studies Canada, the North American Breeding Bird Survey, and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Veteran field participants remember when they actually had to pay to participate. Joining the the count is free but it still needs ylogo_cornell-labour contributions. Please consider a donation to the CBC to support the science and the welfare of our North American birds. Follow the Audubon logo.

Media: Norman Levey
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