2018/2019 Dawson Creek Christmas bird count results

The 20th annual Dawson Creek Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, January 5, 2019.

Thirteen participants tallied 2867 birds of 26 different species. Although the total number of individual birds was slightly below the long-term average, the number of species was tied for the second highest ever for this count. It is likely that the relatively mild winter thus far has encouraged some birds to remain in the area rather than migrating south.

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Some highlights include a Short-eared Owl (tallied for the first time on count day) and a Steller’s Jay (normally found in the mountains and westward, but several have been seen in the Peace region this fall & winter); also, the highest ever totals for White-breasted Nuthatch and European Starling. The most abundant bird on this year’s count was (fittingly) the Common Raven. The biggest ‘miss’ of the day was Evening Grosbeak (historically found on 74% of Dawson Creek counts).

They are known to be in the area – a couple flocks were reported from outside the count circle – but none were found during the count. A Snowy Owl was also seen just outside the official counting area.

Results are as follows:  Bald Eagle – 1; Ruffed Grouse – 8; Sharp-tailed Grouse – 8; Rock Pigeon – 281; Eurasian Collared Dove – 5; Short-eared Owl – 1; Downy Woodpecker – 12; Hairy Woodpecker – 13; Canada Jay – 10; Steller’s Jay – 1; Blue Jay – 43; Black-billed Magpie – 213; Common Raven – 847; Black-capped Chickadee – 268; Boreal Chickadee – 1; Red-breasted Nuthatch – 2; White-breasted Nuthatch – 13; Northern Shrike – 2: European Starling – 114; Bohemian Waxwing – 140; Snow Bunting – 60; Pine Grosbeak – 54; White-winged Crossbill – 6; Common Redpoll – 269; Hoary Redpoll – 12; House Sparrow – 483; total individuals – 2867; total species – 26.

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