Forty-six bird species were counted as more than a hundred children, women and men watched the skies, scanned bird feeders, crawled through ravines and traversed the Minnesota River Valley wihin a 7.5 mile radius of LeSueur County's Ney Environmental Learning Center on Saturday, December 15th to determine numbers and species of birds overwintering and residing during the 2007 season. Few major
surprises were forthcoming, although a number of oddities were observed.
Rumor had it that Canada goose numbers were down, in that many eggs were destroyed by a late spring freeze. During bird count day in December of 2006, over 2500 geese were spotted in the area, whereas less than half that were in this year's census. Many more were observed before count day, as well as afterward. A fluke??
Dark-eyed juncos arrived in early autumn and registered the greatest number of roadside and feeder visitors, well over 600, followed by black-capped chickadees. American tree sparrows also arrived early from their arctic tundra summer homes...more were enumerated than in any previous Christmas Bird Count. Pine siskins moved in with goldfinches in October, but not a single one was discovered on count day. American crow numbers were the lowest since 2004. (This week, January 10 - 15, we've seen many many crows in the immediate area.)
Edited by Art/Barb Straub (01/15/08 11:18 AM)