May Species Count Update

I’ve finally finished the report for Calgary’s May Species Count and it has been posted on Nature Calgary’s website.

It turns out that it was a record setting year in the Calgary area for both number of species, 210 and number of birds, 100,000. The record for number of species had been reported as 216 in 2002 but, in checking the data, I found only 208 species listed. It appears that 8 reports of birds identified only at the genus level (e.g. Empidonax sp, accipiter sp. etc) were included in the total.

For any “mammalers” in the crowd, the following species were recorded on the count: Elk, Moose, White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Muskrat, Snowshoe Hare, White-tailed Jackrabbit, Coyote, Richardson’s Ground Squirrel, Columbian Ground Squirrel, Red Squirrel, Least Chipmunk, Eastern Gray Squirrel, Porcupine, Gray Wolf, American Marten, Deer Mouse and a vole species. Tim Allison was the lucky person seeing both the wolf and marten in K-country.

A little more recent info – there is at least one Violet-green Swallow in my NW Calgary neighbourhood. I’ve seen the bird on and off over the past month (3 weeks ago I had a male and female pair) … this will be a good species for next year’s Calgary competition if the bird(s) return. Also of interest for the competition, I heard a Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow a few days ago on the Country Hills Golf Course – the course is private but I believe there is a city path on the hillside near where I heard the sparrow.

Brian Elder

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