Christmas Bird Count

The 19th Sandwich Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, December 29th with excellent weather for finding birds: cloudy and mild. The snow began late afternoon and while it wasn’t an issue for birding, it made the compilation sparsely attended since it was snowing heavily at 5 and 6 pm.

For unusual species we had a Rusty Blackbird, a Red-shouldered Hawk, and a Belted Kingfisher. The blackbird was a first Rusty for the count and the hawk was the first Red-shouldered we’ve had on count day. The blackbird was first reported as a cowbird at a feeder but the beak didn’t look right. Photographs taken a few weeks later showed it is a Rusty Blackbird. They sometimes winter in southern NH but very rarely this far north. The only new count high was Pileated Woodpecker and the 23 we found is also a new CBC record for the state. Last year we missed Northern Shrike but this time we had three. The Carolina Wren was our 5th record for count day. The 15 Eastern Bluebirds was just one shy of our record from six years ago. This was the 4th count that House Sparrow was missed.

Here is the list with the 19-year mean in parentheses.

  • Am. Black Duck             6 (10)
  • Mallard                          112 (28)
  • Wild Turkey                    52 (60)
  • Ruffed Grouse               3 (5)
  • Bald Eagle                      2 (1)
  • Red-tailed Hawk            2 (1)
  • Red-shldered Hawk       1
  • Ring-billed Gull              1 (01)
  • Rock Pigeon                  46 (18)
  • Mourning Dove              210(143)
  • Great Horned Owl          1 (1)
  • Barred Owl                     2 (3)
  • Red-bld Woodpecker     1 (1)
  • Downy Woodpecker       61 (44)
  • Hairy Woodpecker          53 (45)
  • Pileated Woodpecker     23 (7)
  • Belted Kingfisher            1
  • Northern Shrike              3 (2)
  • Blue Jay                         276 (212)
  • American Crow               52 (61)
  • Common Raven             18 (17)
  • B-C Chickadee               788 (722)
  • Tufted Titmouse             62 (56)
  • Red-br Nuthatch             16 (56)
  • White-br Nuthatch           135 (102)
  • Brown Creeper                9 (11)
  • Golden-cr Kinglet            9 (14)
  • Carolina Wren                 1
  • Eastern Bluebird              15 (3)
  • American Robin               3 (39)
  • European Starling           104 (93)
  • Cedar Waxwing               58 (38)
  • Am. Tree Sparrow            27 (21)
  • White-thrtd Sparrow         2 (3)
  • Snow Bunting                   16 (6)
  • Dark-eyed Junco              38 (101)
  • Northern Cardinal             21 (11)
  • Rusty Blackbird                1
  • Purple Finch                     7 (6)
  • White-wng Crossbill         1 (6)
  • Am. Goldfinch                  394 (360)

Totals:  41 species (40);      2632 individuals (2634)

Count Week birds:  Northern Goshawk, House Finch

Tony Vazzano,  Compiler

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