Calgary Area May Species Count

The 2009 Calgary Area May Species Count was conducted on May 30 & 31 with 57 participants. The following is a summary of the results. Complete results will be posted on the Nature Calgary website once the data has been verified by participants.

In total, 210 species were recorded with an additional 7 species recorded in the count week (3 days before/after the count). In comparison, 205 species were recorded for 2008 and 207 for 2006; average number of species for the prior 10 years is 200; the high count was 216 species in 2002. There were no new species on this year’s count. 288 species have been recorded on the count since 1979.

Weather was not a major factor in this year’s count – at least concerning the comfort of the observers! We had generally clear skies with day-time temperatures in the low 20’s both days; however, it was just above freezing in the early morning and the wind did pick up considerably late Sunday afternoon.

Coverage was similar to recent counts with 143 hours human powered (walking, cycling) covering 200km and 204 hrs driving (including birding stops) covering 4000 km. Most of the areas have been done by the same participants for the last few years

This count is notable for its numbers – nearly 100,000 birds were counted – a new record. Ian Halladay and his trusty Frank Lake crew counted for over ¼ of the birds thanks to their diligent counting of Franklin’s Gulls. New highs were recorded for 51 species including Franklin’s Gulls.

· Canada Goose: 4687 (Prev: 3945, 10 yr avg: 2771)

· Lesser Scaup: 1166 (Prev: 1133, 10 yr avg: 825)

· Bufflehead: 777 (Prev: 395, 10 yr avg: 226)

· Pied-billed Grebe: 54 (Prev: 44, 10 yr avg: 20)

· Great Blue Heron: 76 (Prev: 68, 10 yr avg: 45)

· Osprey: 21 (Prev: 20, 10 yr avg: 12)

· American Coot: 6132 (Prev: 4081, 10 yr avg: 1782)

· Black-necked Stilt: 116 (Prev: 85, 10 yr avg: 17)

· Solitary Sandpiper: 16 (Prev: 15, 10 yr avg: 6)

· Ruddy Turnstone: 3 (Prev: 2, 10 yr avg: 0)

· Franklin’s Gull: 30621 (Prev: 13189, 10 yr avg: 9371)

· Mourning Dove: 76 (Prev: 70, 10 yr avg: 48)

· Eurasian Collared-Dove: 10 (Prev: 2, 10 yr avg: 0)

· Red-naped Sapsucker: 28 (Prev: 27, 10 yr avg: 12)

· American Three-toed Woodpecker: 8 (Prev: 7, 10 yr avg: 2)

· Pileated Woodpecker: 8 (Prev: 7, 10 yr avg: 5)

· Alder Flycatcher: 18 (Prev: 16, 10 yr avg: 3)

· Western Flycatcher: 5 (Prev: 3, 10 yr avg: 1)

· Western Kingbird: 80 (Prev: 60, 10 yr avg: 31)

· Eastern Kingbird: 201 (Prev: 158, 10 yr avg: 97)

· Blue-headed Vireo: 7 (Prev: 6, 10 yr avg: 2)

· Gray Jay: 70 (Prev: 39, 10 yr avg: 24)

· Blue Jay: 44 (Prev: 26, 10 yr avg: 21)

· Common Raven: 340 (Prev: 279, 10 yr avg: 175)

· Purple Martin: 20 (Prev: 12, 10 yr avg: 5)

· Mountain Chickadee: 36 (Prev: 35, 10 yr avg: 21)

· Brown Creeper: 4 (Prev: 2, 10 yr avg: 1)

· House Wren: 432 (Prev: 417, 10 yr avg: 262)

· American Dipper: 10 (Prev: 9, 10 yr avg: 5)

· Golden-crowned Kinglet: 39 (Prev: 27, 10 yr avg: 14)

· Ruby-crowned Kinglet: 397 (Prev: 314, 10 yr avg: 184)

· Hermit Thrush: 26 (Prev: 21, 10 yr avg: 9)

· Gray Catbird: 93 (Prev: 57, 10 yr avg: 35)

· Tennessee Warbler: 230 (Prev: 191, 10 yr avg: 61)

· Yellow Warbler: 746 (Prev: 721, 10 yr avg: 513)

· Cape May Warbler: 11 (Prev: 7, 10 yr avg: 1)

· Townsend’s Warbler: 30 (Prev: 22, 10 yr avg: 12)

· Common Yellowthroat: 101 (Prev: 97, 10 yr avg: 60)

· Vesper Sparrow: 236 (Prev: 233, 10 yr avg: 154)

· Savannah Sparrow: 756 (Prev: 670, 10 yr avg: 534)

· Le Conte’s Sparrow: 49 (Prev: 44, 10 yr avg: 17)

· Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow: 9 (Prev: 4, 10 yr avg: 1)

· Lincoln’s Sparrow: 136 (Prev: 123, 10 yr avg: 64)

· Swamp Sparrow: 5 (Prev: 4, 10 yr avg: 1)

· Rose-breasted Grosbeak: 41 (Prev: 32, 10 yr avg: 20)

· Red-winged Blackbird: 5033 (Prev: 4898, 10 yr avg: 2816)

· Yellow-headed Blackbird: 2373 (Prev: 2272, 10 yr avg: 1451)

· Brown-headed Cowbird: 1651 (Prev: 1056, 10 yr avg: 767)

· House Finch: 51 (Prev: 45, 10 yr avg: 11)

· Pine Siskin: 927 (Prev: 769, 10 yr avg: 226)

· Evening Grosbeak: 36 (Prev: 23, 10 yr avg: 4)

Thanks to all of the participants.

Good birding.

Brian Elder
Calgary

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