Christmas Bird Count 2022 for Headwaters Nature

The Christmas Bird Count was on Dec 28, a calm day after a week of bitter cold, snow and howling winds. The temperature was from -2ºC  to +3ºC. Unfortunately waterways were frozen from the prior cold spell.

The area that Headwaters Nature and friends cover for the annual Christmas Bird Count is officially labelled ‘ONCD’. It covers much of Caledon as well as parts of Orangeville and Erin. This is the 31st count, beginning in 1987 with a few missing years.

Christmas Bird Count map

Headwaters Nature Christmas Bird Count map

We had a total of 11 teams, each with part of or the whole of the various Areas outlined in the above map.  There were also 4 Project FeederWatch reports submitted to Headwaters Nature.

We had 48 species which is the best since 2005 (average 39.4 the last five years), but a number of these species are only represented by one or two birds. Our total count of 3135 is the lowest since 2013 (average 3760 the last five years). The lack of open water really brought down our count of geese and ducks.

Record highs:
  • Black Duck – 28; prev 14 (2018)
  • Bald Eagle – 4; prev 2 (2018)
  • Barred Owl – 1; tied 2021
  • Common Raven – 19; prev 14 (2016, 2019)
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch – 38; prev 32 (2018)
  • Eastern Bluebird – 12; prev 5 (2021). Prior to that there were no sightings.
  • White-throated Sparrow – 4; tied 2002
  • Evening Grosbeaks were not a record number, but were the first since 2012 and before that 2007. The record is 393 in 1990.
  • There was a large flock of Snow Buntings (greater than 500 based on photographs), and a flock of 36 Bohemian Waxwings.
    • Notable miss: Ruffed Grouse

Russ McGillivray,  ONCD Compiler

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