Sunday, February 23, 2014

Field Report: Great Backyard Bird Count at the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, Feb. 16, 2014

Last weekend concluded another Great Backyard Bird Count. This citizen science project sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society has been a huge success -- at the time of this post, 139,298 checklists were submitted, 4,082 species were observed, and 17,248,978 individual birds were counted. (Participants have until the end of February to submit data, so those numbers may increase.) All of this data helps scientists gain an accurate picture of bird populations before those birds start to migrate.

Valley Forge Audubon Society did its part to contribute with a bird count at the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. Vincent Smith and two other participants braved frigid temperatures, snow and ice to record 219 individual birds of 28 bird species. Highlights included Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, and American Tree Sparrow. The complete list follows:

Canada Goose 70
Ring-necked Duck 1
Hooded Merganser 5
Common Merganser 6
Ring-billed Gull 4
Mourning Dove 6
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 4
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 4
Carolina Chickadee 4
Tufted Titmouse 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Eastern Bluebird 2
American Robin 4
European Starling 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1
American Tree Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 8
White-throated Sparrow 30
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 15
Northern Cardinal 10
Red-winged Blackbird 15
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
House Finch 8
American Goldfinch 1
House Sparrow 1

You can learn more about the Great Backyard Bird Count at