Central Mass Bird Census Archives

Central Mass Bird Update homepage.


This is an archive of bird census data from breeding bird surveys, Christmas Counts, or other comprehensive bird surveys in central Massachusetts. To contribute, you can email to rsquimby@wpi.edu or call Rick Quimby at (508) 853-5021 for information on how to submit the census data.

Census Data Available:

12/30/00 -- Quabbin Christmas Count, December 2000
Thirty-seven observers braved the elements inside and outside the Quabbin Reservoir yesterday. As Advertised the storm started around 10:00am slowed a bit and then intensified around 12:30. All the parties inside the gates (as instructed by Jim Lafley and Myself) headed out at the first sign of snow. Once outside the gates it was up to the individuals when they wanted to pull out. To my knowledge most had called it a day by 1:30pm. Considering the weather cut our day into half, the count wasn't to bad. The area leaders that I spoke to reported that all in their parties had a good time. As for the count-not surprisingly most species numbers were down. There were 3 new count highs and no new species added. Here are the results.....

 
CO. Loon (6)
Horned Grebe (6)
Canada Goose (4)
Black Duck (30)
Mallard (118)
CO. Goldeneye (16)
Hooded Merganser (9)
CO. Merganser (95)
Bald Eagle-7 Ad/1 imm
Sharp-shinned Hawk (3)
Cooper's Hawk (1)
No. Goshawk (1)
Red-tailed Hawk (9)
R.N.Pheasant (4)
Ruffed Grouse (7)
Wild Turkey (53)
Ring-billed Gull (2)
Herring gull (21)
Gr.Blk-backed Gull (3)
Gull Sp. (7)
Rock Dove (173)
Mourning Dove (124)
E. Screech Owl (1)
Gr.Horned Owl (15)
Barred owl (5)
No. Saw-whet Owl (23)
Belted Kingfisher (2)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (8) new high
Downy Woodpecker (84)
Hairy Woodpecker (23)
No. Flicker (6)
Pileated Woodpecker (9)
Blue Jay (425)
Am. Crow (194)
CO. Raven (9)
Blk-capped Chickadee (596)
Tufted Titmouse (93)
R. B.  Nuthatch (48)
W.B.Nuthatch (108)
Br. Creeper (18)
Carolina Wren (1) (Inside Quabbin!!)
Winter Wren (1)
G.C.Kinglet (75)
E. Bluebird (19)
HERMIT THRUSH (1)
Am. Robin (1100)
No. Mockingbird (10)
Cedar Waxwing (178)
No. Shrike (2)
E. Starling (571)
No. Cardinal (35)
E. TOWHEE (2)
Tree Sparrow (148)
FOX SPARROW (1)
Song Sparrow (21)
White-Thr Sparrow (436) prev.high 95
D.E.Junco (1236)
Red-winged Blackbird (176) prev.high 2
Br. Headed Cowbird (20)
Purple Finch (23)
House Finch (125)
Am. Goldfinch (463)
House Sparrow (162)
 
Total Species 62   Total Individuals 6966
 
Mammals- W.T.Deer (9), Coyote (7), Gray Squirrel (14), Red Squirrel (11)
E. Cottontail (2), R. Otter (1), Porcupine (6) Meadow Vole (2), Long-tailed 
Weasel (1), Shrew Sp. (2)
(report from Scott Surner, fide Mark Lynch).

12/15/99 -- Sturbridge Christmas Count 2000
We held the 5th Sturbridge CC on Friday 12/15. This count includes sections of the Brookfields, Sturbridge, Brimfield, Charlton, Spencer, Southbridge and Holland, towns rarely visited by coastal birders and even most interior birders. We WERE scheduled to do this on Thursday, but our area was hit with a serious ice storm. This meant we had fewer people in the field. Also, much of the vegetation was coated in ice, roads were icy, and there was a nice layer of ice covered snow on the ground....and there was still deer hunting. Then, I fell into some very funky marsh muck...up to my knees. So for the rest of the count day I was oozing mud. OTHER THAN THAT...it was a great count, and all participants should be congratulated. Inland counts are always a real challenge, and some of the results this year were pretty interesting.
SPECIES LIST:
*=count high
SPECIES IN CAPS=new species for circle

PIED-BILLED GREBE (1: amazing since practically all still water and 
even some of the moving water was frzen and had been for weeks)
Great Blue Heron (1)
MUTE SWAN (1: oh-uh)
Canada Goose (1402)
Wood Duck (1m)
Green-winged Teal (cw)
A. Black Duck (54)
Mallard (774)
Canvasback (1: pst)
C. Goldeneye (cw)
Hooded Merganser (50)
Common Merganser (13: very low)
N. Harrier (1: pretty uncommon in Worc. County in winter)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (4)
Cooper's Hawk (2)
Red-tailed Hawk (29)
A. Kestrel (2)
Merlin (cw)
Ring-necked Phaesant (5)
Ruffed Grouse (7)
Wild Turkey (52)
AMERICAN COOT (2)
COMMON SNIPE (1)
Ring-billed Gull(280)
Herring Gull (52:low)
Great Black-backed Gull (15: low)
Rock Dove (1039)
Mourning Dove (671*)
E. Screech Owl (2: the distribution of this bird in this part 
                of the state is still unknown)
Great Horned Owl (8)
Barred Owl (2)
N. Saw-whet Owl (6)
Belted Kingfisher (11*) 
Red-bellied Woodpecker (24*)
Downy Woodpecker (142)
Hairy Woodpecker (25)
N. Flicker (17)
Pileated Woodpecker (3)
Horned Lark (54)
Blue Jay (1361)
A. Crow (1033*)
FISH CROW (1)
C. Raven (2)
Black-capped Chickadee (1180)
Tufted Titmouse (383)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (16: NOT a flight year)
White-breasted Nuthatch (220)
Brown Creeper (18)
Carolina Wren (11*)
Winter Wren (3*)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (38)
E. Bluebird (80)
Hermit Thrush (2*)
A. Robin (378)N. Mockingbird (38)
Cedar Waxwing (382)
E. Starling (6858)
N. Cardinal (147*)
A. Tree Sparrow (474*)
SAVANNAH SPARROW (4)
Fox Sparrow (4*)
Song Sparrow (180*)
Swamp Sparrow (4)
White-throated Sparrow (649*)
Dark-eyed Junco (5421*: extremely high count: they were everywhere. It will 
                 be interesting to see what other counts get for this bird.)
"Oregon Junco" (1)
Red-winged Blackbird (608*)
RUSTY BLACKBIRD (7)
C. Grackle (232*: most of the blackbirds were in the catt-tail marshes 
            of the Quaboag River in West Brookfield. Uncommon in 
            Worcester County this late in season)
Brown-headed Cowbird (50*)
Purple Finch (11)
House Finch (302)
A. Goldfinch (418)
NOTE: NO "winter" finches
House Sparrow (1154*)
(report from Mark Lynch).

Note: Chuck Caron relates that both the Sturbridge and Athol Counts topped the all-time high counts for the United States (and Canada) for Dark-eyed Juncos. The old record was 5073 from Manhattan, Kansas in 1978.

12/16/00 -- Worcester Christmas Count 2000
--- updated 1/4/01 (official count from Fran McMenemy) ---

The Worcester Christmas Count was held on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2000, with Fran McMenemy as compiler. Weather was overcast, with light easterly winds and temperatures around 30 deg. F. Ponds were mostly iced over, with just a few areas of open water remaining. The total of 76 species was the 2nd highest in the 48 year history of the count, tying the 76 species recorded in 1997, but lower than the 82 species recorded in 1999. Highlights included 1 Red-necked Grebe, 2 Northern Pintail, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 Bald Eagle, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 1 Common Snipe, 2 Great Horned Owl, 1 Barred Owl, 1 Northern Saw-whet Owl, a record high 23 Red-bellied Woodpeckers, 3 Pileated Woodpeckers, 1 Northern Shrike, 4 Common Raven, 29 Eastern Bluebird, 2 Eastern Towhee, 1 Chipping Sparrow, a record number of 27 Fox Sparrow, 70 Red-winged Blackbird, 1 Eastern Meadowlark, 13 Purple Finch, and 1 Pine Siskin. Species with new high counts of individual: Common Goldeney, Rock Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Common Raven, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, and Common Grackle. (report from Rick Quimby).

The complete list:

Common Loon               5
Horned Grebe              5
Red-necked Grebe          1
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron          3
Canada Goose            541
Mute Swan                 7
American Black Duck     103
Mallard                1239
Northern Pintail          2
Ring-necked Duck         56
Tufted Duck               1
Greater Scaup            35
Common Goldeneye        135
Hooded Merganser        179
Common Merganser        118
Bald Eagle                2
Sharp-shinned Hawk        4
Cooper's Hawk             6
Red-tailed Hawk          44
Peregrine Falcon          1
Ring-necked Pheasant      2
Ruffed Grouse             2
Wild Turkey              33
American Coot             4
Common Snipe              1
Ring-billed Gull       1413
Herring Gull            405
Great Black-backed Gull 249
Rock Dove              1072
Mourning Dove           461
Eastern Screech-Owl       3
Great Horned Owl          2
Barred Owl                1
Saw-whet Owl              1
Belted Kingfisher         5
Red-bellied Woodpecker   23 (many responding to tapes)
Downy Woodpecker        124
Hairy Woodpecker         25
Northern Flicker         10
Pileated Woodpecker       3
Northern Shrike           1
Blue Jay                519
American Crow           843
Common Raven              4
Horned Lark               2
Black-capped Chickadee  775
Tufted Titmouse         211
Red-breasted Nuthatch    14
White-breasted Nuthatch 152
Brown Creeper             7
Carolina Wren             7
Golden-crowned Kinglet   31
Ruby-crowned Kinglet      2
Eastern Bluebird         29
American Robin          217
Northern Mockingbird     36
European Starling      2259
Cedar Waxwing           269
Eastern Towhee            2
American Tree Sparrow   288
Chipping Sparrow          1
Field Sparrow             2
Fox Sparrow              27
Song Sparrow             77
White-throated Sparrow  288
Dark-eyed Junco        2493
Northern Cardinal       102
Red-winged Blackbird     70
Eastern Meadowlark        1
Common Grackle           66
Purple Finch             13
House Finch             171
Pine Siskin               1
American Goldfinch      264
House Sparrow           927

Total: 76 species, 16498 individuals
6/25/00 -- Barre Falls Dam-Rutland State Park Breeding Bird Survey
Today we attempted our annual breding bird survey at Barre Falls Dam, birding only along the driveable roads of this tract. Weather was variable, sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny, humid and hot. Several times we thought we were in for rain, but it never materialized. Throughout it was windy, which may have cut down on the numbers of certain species.

BIRDS:
Great Blue Heron (6 occ. nests/14 almost fledged birds counted)
Canada Goose (2ad+1yng)
Wood Duck (4)
Mallard (pair)
HOODED MERGANSER (1f perched atop a Wood Duck box)
Broad-Winged Hawk (2)
Mourning Dove (6)
Black-Billed Cuckoo (4)
YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (1)
BARRED OWL (1)
Chimney Swift (4)
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (1m: low)
Downy Woodpecker (1:very low, wind may have been a factor)
N. Flicker (4)
Pileated Woodpecker (1)
E. Wood Peewee (9)
Alder Flycatcher (7)
Willow Flycatcher (2)
Least Flycatcher (25)
E. Phoebe (13)
Great Crested Flycatcher (9)
E. Kingbird (15)
Tree Swallow (53)
Barn Swallow (3)
Blue Jay (16)
A. Crow (7)
C. Raven (2)
Black-capped Chickadee (44)
Tufted Titmouse (18)
Red-Breasted Nuthatch (6)
Brown Creeper (8)
WINTER WREN (1)
Golden-Crowned Kinglet (10)
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher (2)
E. Bluebird (1)
Veery (38)
Hermit Thrush (49)
Wood Thrush (1)
A. Robin (54)
Gray Catbird (58)
Cedar Waxwing (53)
VIREOS:
Blue-Headed (18)
Yellow-Throated (2)
Warbling (9)
Red-Eyed (104)
WARBLERS:
Blue-Winged (8)
Yellow (48)
Chestnut-Sided (28)
Magnolia (5: low)
Black-Throated Blue (3)
Yellow-Rumped (26)
Black-Throated Green (36)
Blackburnian (12)
Pine (37)
Prairie (7)
Black and White (5)
A. Redstart (29)
Ovenbird (83)
C Yellowthroat (88)
Canada (3: low)

Scarlet Tanager (28)
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (23)
Indigo Bunting (3)
E. Towhee (19)

SPARROWS:
Chipping (57)
Field (8)
Song (28)
Swamp (31)
White-Throated (4)

Bobolink (9)
Red-Winged Blackbird (109)
C. Grackle (35)
Brown-Headed Cowbird (14)
Baltimore Oriole (6)
Purple Finch (11)
House Finch (2)
A. Goldfinch (13)
EVENING GROSBEAK (6).


BUTTERFLIES: a great variety despite wind: Black Swallowtail; E. Tiger
Swallowtail; Cabbage White; Clouded Sulphur; Orange Sulphur; PAINTED LADY;
Mourning Cloak; Question Mark; Great Sapngled Fritillary; Aphrodite
Fritillary; Silver-Bordered Fritillary; Harris' Checkerspot; Pearl Crescent;
Common Ringlet;  White Admiral; Red-Spotted Purple; Little Wood Satyr;
Monarch; Silver-Spotted Skipper;  Southern Cloudywing; Least Skipper;
European Skipper; Delaware Skipper; A skipper we watched closely in a bog
nectaring on marsh plants including Blue Flag appeared to be a BLACK DASH,
but I think it's too early for that. Odenates were infinitely more abundant
with lots of Ebony Jewelwings.

OTHER VERTS: great herps: Helped a huge Snapping Turtle across a road after
laying her eggs; ditto E. Painted Turtle (abundant); Ribbon Snake; Frogs
included Green; Bull; Pickerel; Gray Tree Frog; several American Toads and at
one point we heard toads trilling which seemed very late.

WILDFLOWERS: huge list including, most invasives or non-native: Cow-Wheat;
Sweet Briar Rose; Whorled Loosestrife; Queen Ann's lace; Sheep Laurel;
Mountain Laurel; Dwarf Cinquefoil; Columbine; N. Bush Honeysuckle; Swamp
Candles; Orange Hawkweed (all over); Tall Maedow Ruse (all over); Red
Baneberry; Blue Flag; ROSE PAGONIA (a nice show of this orchid in the wet
area under the bridge where the ravens breed) ; N. Pitcher Plant.

While overlooking the marsh we found an area where obviously a moose or
mooses had been hanging out for a while.
(report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

6/17/00 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary Breeding Bird Survey
Results of this morning's annual Breeding Bird Survey:

Mallard (1)
Cooper's Hawk (3 - New Count Species)
Ruffed Grouse (1)
Virginia Rail (1)
Sora (2 - New Count Species)
Rock Dove (11)
Mourning Dove (14)
Black-billed Cuckoo (1)
Chimney Swift (3)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (1)
Downy Woodpecker (9)
Hairy Woodpecker (2)
Northern Flicker (9)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (9)
Willow Flycatcher (3)
Eastern Phoebe (3)
Great Creasted Flycatcher (4)
Eastern Kingbird (3)
Warbling Vireo (2)
Red-eyed Vireo (9)
Blue Jay (25)
American Crow (14)
Tree Swallow (8 - New Count Low)
Black-capped Chickadee (24)
Tufted Titmouse (27)
White-breasted Nuthatch (13)
Carolina Wren (4)
House Wren (2 - New Count Low)
Eastern Bluebird (1)
Hermit Thrush (1)
Wood Thrush (10)
American Robin (42)
Gray Catbird (42)
Northern Mockingbird (5)
Brown Thrasher (2 - New Count Low)
European Starling (156)
Cedar Waxwing (10)
Blue-winged Warbler (6)
Yellow Warbler (14)
Prairie Warbler (2 - New Count Low)
Black-and-white Warbler (1)
Ovenbird (2)
Common Yellowthroat (32)
Scarlet Tanager (9)
Eastern Towhee (22)
Chipping Sparrow (1)
Field Sparrow (10)
Song Sparrow (26)
Swamp Sparrow (1)
Northern Cardinal (14)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (6)
Indigo Bunting (1)
Red-winged Blackbird (26)
Common Grackle (164 - New Count High)
Brown-headed Cowbird (18)
Baltimore Oriole (14)
House Finch (3)
American Goldfinch (19)
House Sparrow (23 - New Count High)

Overall, the number of individuals of many species was on the low side. This may or may not be a function of the year in many cases. However, our Brown Thrasher numbers have been steadily declining for the past several years. Also, Prairie Warblers and Field Sparrows are low because their habitat has been changing. (report from John Liller).

6/11/00 -- Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton
On June 11 the Forbush Bird Club conducted the 37th annual breeding bird survey at Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary. On behalf of the staff at the sanctuary our thanks to all those people who turned out to help, and especially to Fran McMenemy for his efforts in making it happen. The 86 species count fell just two shy of the record, although overall numbers were noticeably down. A new species for this BBS was common raven, seen carrying food.


Great blue Heron             24             Green Heron                   1
Turkey Vulture                3             Canada Goose                 13
Wood Duck                     6             American Black Duck           1
Mallard                       1             Hooded Merganser              7
Red-shouldered Hawk           3             Broad-winged Hawk             1
American Kestral              1             Ruffed Grouse                 1
Killdeer                      1             American Woodcock             1
Mourning Dove                23             Great Horned Owl              2
Barred Owl                    1             Chimney Swift                 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird     6             Yellow-bellied Sapsucker      6
Downy Woodpecker             10             Hairy Woodpecker              1
Northern Flicker              9             Pileated Woodpecker           1
Eastern Wood Pewee           16             Alder Flycatcher              1
Least Flycatcher             18             Eastern Phoebe                7
Great Crested Flycatcher      6             Eastern Kingbird             10
Yellow-throated Vireo         2             Blue-headed Vireo             9 
Warbling Vireo                8             Red-eyed Vireo                9
Blue Jay                     37             American Crow                 1
Tree Swallow                 50             Barn Swallow                 18
Black-capped Chickadee       74             Tufted Titmouse              21
Red-breasted Nuthatch         1             White-breasted Nuthatch      15
Brown Creeper                14             House Wren                    8
Winter Wren                   3             Blue-gray Gnatcatcher         2
Eatern Bluebird              10             Veery                        18
Hermit Thrush                26             Wood Thrush                  15
American Robin               27             Gray Catbird                 25


Brown Thrasher                1             European Starling            13
Cedar Waxwing                39             Blue-winged Warbler (Brewster's) 1
Yellow Warbler                9             Chestnut-sided Warbler       13
Black-throated Blue Warbler  15             Yellow-rumped Warbler        20
Black-throated Green Warb.   18             Blackburnian Warbler          7
Black and White Warbler      17             American Redstart            12
Ovenbird                      9             Northern Waterthrush          2
Louisiana Waterthrush         1             Common Yellowthroat          34
Canada Warbler                7             Scarlet Tanager              12
Eastern Towhee               22             Chipping Sparrow             11
Song Sparrow                 14             White-throated Sparrow        2
Dark-eyed Junco               1             Northern Cardinal             1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak       10             Bobolink                      7
Red-winged Blackbird         44             Common Grackle               63
Brown-headed Cowbird         13             Baltimore Oriole             11
Purple Finch                  6             House Finch                   1
American Goldfinch           31             COMMON RAVEN                  1

New High - House Sparrow=0

(report from Peg & Dick Knowlton).

1/2/00 -- Quabbin Christmas Count
The Quabbin Christmas Count was held on Sunday, Jan 2, 2000. This year's Quabbin CC was notable for mild temps (especially in contrast to starting last year's count at -15!) and generally moderate numbers of birds. As is always true of this count circle, the greatest number and variety of birds were seen in the sections of the count circle OUTSIDE of Quabbin. Inside Quabbin, this year, the general consensus of other teams was that the landbirds were few and far between. There were no big flights of Red-Breasted Nuthatchs, Golden-Crowned Kinglets and only very modest numbers of "winter finches". Somewhat interesting was the low count of Bald Eagles (maximum 10 for whole circle). Indeed, Sheila and I did not note our first Bald Eagle until 4:00 PM. For the first time ever, the Prescott Team found NO Bald Eagles (or Ravens for that matter). It is interesting to also note that NO White-Tailed Deer were seen by any sector inside Quabbin. Nor were tracks found. This is extraordinary. The purpose of the "controlled" deer hunt was to "manage" the deer herd, not eliminate the deer herd. It is important to remember that deer carcasses are an important winter food item for Bald Eagles.
On a more positive note, signs of MOOSE were found in several sectors including the Dana. Other mammals noted in the Dana sector alone included Porcupine, Mink, Otter, Beaver and a dead Porcupine which was a FISHER kill.

Although many of the participants in the entire count circle said that they had only a "so-so" day, in fact a new record of 71 species was recorded for the count. The discrepancy may have been that there seemd to be so few birds IN the Quabbin proper. Often it seemed miles between chickadees. And the gloomy wet first half didn't help either. Although the "In Quabbin" Dana teams had several choice water overlooks, the water was very low with lots of sand bars and also lots of ice because we had the shallower water.

The complete list:

Common Loon (23)
Horned Grebe (22)
Great Blue Heron (1)
Canada Goose (193)
A. Black Duck (124)
Mallard (208)
Greater Scaup (1)
"scaup sp." (4)
C. Goldeneye (48)
Hooded Merganser (93)
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (2)
Common Merganser (1527)
Bald Eagle (10 maximum: very low. 6 adults/4 imm. For the first time in the 
history of the count, no Bald eagles were noted by the Prescott team))
Sharp-Shinned Hawk (1)
Cooper's Hawk (1)
N. Goshawk (3)
Red-Tailed Hawk (19)
GOLDEN EAGLE (1 ad. This bird, found by Simon Hennin  at Graves Landing, 
spent almost 4 hours in the Dana sector, eventually flying down to the Baffle 
Dam area where it was seen by that team. Everyone on the "inside Quabbin/Dana 
sector team, got great looks.)
MERLIN (1)
Ring-Necked Phaesant (8)
Ruffed Grouse (25)
Wild Turkey (64) 
Ring-Billed Gull (45)
Herring Gull (179)
Great Black Backed Gull (27)
'gull sp.": (100+)
Rock Dove (339)
Mourning Dove (440)
E. Screech Owl (1)
Great Horned Owl (19)
Barred Owl (14: several were seen out and about in the day)
N. Saw Whet Owl (12)
Belted Kingfisher (5)
Red-Bellied Woodpecker (6; including one in the middle of the Prescott Penn.)
Downy Woodpecker (99)
Hairy Woodpecker (27)
N. Flicker (7)
Pileated Woodpecker (31: they were everywhere and very vocal)
Horned Lark (22)
Blue Jay (475)
A. Crow (264)
C. Raven (10: there were no ravens seen on the Prescott for the first time in 
the count) 
Black-Capped Chickadee (1218)
Tufted Titmouse (221)
Red-Breasted Nuthatch (42)
White-Breasted Nuthatch (222)
Brown Creeper (26)
Carolina Wren (1)
Winter Wren (2)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (22)
E. Bluebird (39)
A. Robin (1137)
N. Mockingbird (34)
Cedar Waxwing (266)
Northern Shrike (10)
E. Starling (1690)
N. Cardinal (80: including 4 on the Prescott penn. for the first time)
EASTERN TOWHEE (1)
A. Tree Sparrow (430)
Field Sparrow (2)
Song Sparrow (19)
Swamp Sparrow (1)
White-Throated Sparrow (17)
Dark-Eyed Junco (492)
Purple Finch (82)
House Finch (164)
Red-Crossbill (2)
C. Redpoll (149)
Pine Siskin (21)
A. Goldfinch (313)
Evening Grosbeak (70)
House Sparrow (703)
COMMON GRACKLE (1).
(report filed for Scott Surner by Mark Lynch).

12/18/99 -- Worcester Christmas Count 1999
The Worcester Christmas Count was held on Saturday, Dec. 18, 1999, with Fran McMenemy as compiler. Weather was fair, with light winds and temperatures around 30 deg. F. Ponds were only partially iced over, with many areas of open water remaining. A record of 82 species were tallied, surpassing the previous high count of 76 species in 1997. Highlights included 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Bald Eagle, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 1 American Woodcock, 2 Barred Owl, 2 Saw-whet Owl, 1 imm Red-headed Woodpecker, 5 Northern Shrike, 3 Common Raven, 44 Eastern Bluebird, 2 Hermit Thrush, 18,859 European Starling (including an estimated 15,000 going to a night time roost), 1 Savannah Sparrow, 1 Fox Sparrow, 193 Common Redpoll, and 6 Pine Siskin. (report from Rick Quimby).


Worcester count participants
(click to enlarge)

The complete list:

Common Loon               8
Horned Grebe             12
Great Blue Heron          4
Canada Goose            910
Mute Swan                 6
Wood Duck                 2
Gadwall                  12
American Wigeon          10
American Black Duck     179
Mallard                1192
Northern Shoveler         1
Ring-necked Duck          1
Tufted Duck               1
Greater Scaup            29
Lesser Scaup              5
Bufflehead               12
Common Goldeneye        178
Hooded Merganser        159
Common Merganser        178
Red-breasted Merganser    1
Ruddy Duck               57
Bald Eagle                2
Sharp-shinned Hawk        4
Cooper's Hawk             2
Red-tailed Hawk          36
American Kestrel          3
Merlin                    1
Peregrine Falcon          1
Ruffed Grouse             2
Wild Turkey               1
American Coot             2
American Woodcock         1
Ring-billed Gull        759
Herring Gull            221
Great Black-backed Gull  27
Rock Dove              1029
Mourning Dove           320
Eastern Screech-Owl       4
Great Horned Owl          6
Barred Owl                2
Saw-whet Owl              2
Belted Kingfisher        12
Red-headed Woodpecker     1  imm
Red-bellied Woodpecker    5
Downy Woodpecker         71
Hairy Woodpecker         11
Northern Flicker          7
Northern Shrike           5
Blue Jay                262
American Crow          1807
Common Raven              3
Horned Lark              16
Black-capped Chickadee  906
Tufted Titmouse         233
Red-breasted Nuthatch    23
White-breasted Nuthatch 166
Brown Creeper             8
Carolina Wren             8
Winter Wren               1
Golden-crowned Kinglet    6
Eastern Bluebird         44
Hermit Thrush             2
American Robin          467
Northern Mockingbird     65
European Starling    18,859*
Cedar Waxwing           269
American Tree Sparrow   252
Field Sparrow             1
Savannah Sparrow          1
Fox Sparrow               1
Song Sparrow             71
Swamp Sparrow             4
White-throated Sparrow   11
Dark-eyed Junco         469
Northern Cardinal        99
Brown-headed Cowbird     12
Purple Finch              9
House Finch             247
Common Redpoll          193
Pine Siskin               6
American Goldfinch      335
House Sparrow           912

* including an estimated 15,000 going to night time roost

Total: 80 species

This is a new record for total number of species on the Worcester Christmas 
Count, breaking the old record of 76 species in 1997.

12/16/99 -- Sturbridge Christmas Count 1999
The 4th Sturbridge CC was held on Thursday (the count is always held on the first weekday of the count period). We rcorded a record 88 species, a high number for an inland count. The former high was 76 species. Important was the open water and lack of snow cover as well as mild temps that allowed people to spend more time out of the car. But the count circle itself is interesting including sections of the Brookfields, Brimfield, Sturbridge, Charlton, Spencer, Southbridge, Holland and Wales. 17 species of waterfowl were recorded including several species new to the count circle and a record number of Ruddy Ducks. Twelve new species were found and high counts recorded for 28 species (this is a young count after all). (all caps=new species to count; *=new count high).

The complete list:


Common Loon (4*. Note this species was only recorded perviously as a "count
week" bird)
HORNED GREBE (1)
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (1)
Great Blue Heron (5)
Canada Goose (2342*)
Wood Duck (2)
Green-Winged Teal (3*)
A. Black Duck (82)
Mallard (575)
N. SHOVELER (1f)
CANVASBACK (3)
REDHEAD (1m: present for some time)
OLDSQUAW (1m: Lake Quaboag)
Ring-Necked Duck (6)
Greater Scaup (1)
LESSER SCAUP (1)
Bufflehead (7)
C. Goldeneye (34*)
Hooded Merganser (102*)
Common Merganser (429)
Ruddy Duck (311*: note: former high count was 3)
Bald Eagle (1imm)
N. Harrier (2*)
Sharp-Shinned Hawk (6)
Cooper's Hawk (4)
N. Goshawk (1)
"accipiter sp." (2)
Red-Tailed Hawk (36*)
A. Kestrel (2+1 dead*)
MERLIN (1)
Ring-Necked Pheasant (1)
Ruffed Grouse (6)
Wild Turkey (125*)
KILLDEER (1)
Woodcock (2)
Ring-Billed Gull (753*)
Herring Gull (119)
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (1adW: southern end of Lake Wickaboag)
Great Black-Backed Gull (37)
Rock Dove (1343*)
Mourning Dove (606*)
E. Screech Owl (2)
Great Horned Owl (12*)
Barred Owl (5)
N. Saw Whet Owl (7*)
"owl species" (4)
Belted Kingfisher (9*)
Red-Headed Woodpecker (1ad)
Red-Bellied Woodpecker (17*)
Downy Woodpecker (183)
Hairy Woodpecker (17)
N. Flicker (21)
Pileated Woodpecker (3*)
Horned Lark (122*)
Blue Jay (625)
A. Crow (878)
C. Raven (1)
Black-Capped Chickadee (1609)
Tufted Titmouse (449)
Red-Breasted Nuthatch (14)
White-Breasted Nuthatch (262)
Brown Creeper (14)
Carolina Wren (4: all in West Brookfield)
Winter Wren (1)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (29)
Eastern Bluebird (142*)
 A. Robin (895)
N. Mockingbird (50*)
Cedar Waxwing (493)
Northern Shrike (5*)
E. Starling (4626)
N. Cardinal (131*)
Eastern Towhee (1)
A. Tree Sparrow (388)
Field Sparrow (4)
GRASSHOPER SPARROW (1: Brookfield flats)
Song Sparrow (33)
Swamp Sparrow (5)
White-Throated Sparrow (27: low)
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (1ad)
Dark-Eyed Junco (805)
Red-Winged Blackbird (5)
Common Grackle (1)
Brown-Headed Cowbird (1)
Purle Finch (24*)
House Finch (536)
Common Redpoll (225*)
Pine Siskin (121*)
A. Goldfinch (795*)
House Sparrow (933)

Exotic: Turtle Dove (1)
One of the more interesting behaviors I saw in my section (West Brookfield) of the count was between 2 Common Loons, uncommon this late in the year in this area. Loon #1 called urgently to the other several times, and would them swim over to bird 2 calling again. Then loon #1 would fly a short distance away, land, and swim rapidly back to bird #2 calling again loudly. It really seemed, at the risk of being anthropomorphic, that loon #1 was trying to encourage the other bird to leave with it. It performed this behavior at least five times, and then finally loon 1 flew off (after a long running start of course). Loon 1 once airborne, circled the lake several times calling and calling, but loon 2 would only fly a short distance once, and then set back in the water. Finally loon 1 gained some altitude and took off south. (report from Mark Lynch).

7/5/99 -- Barre Falls Dam-Rutland State Park
A census this morning of the roads in Barre Falls Dam/Rutland State Park area had the following totals:
Great Blue Heron (3)
Canada Goose (9)
Mallard (3)
A. Black Duck (5ad+2 downy young)
A Kestrel (1m)
Mourning Dove (4)
Black-Billed Cuckoo (2)Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (3m on territory)
Downy Woodpecker (8)
Hairy Woodpecker (3)
N. Flicker (6)
Pileated Woodpecker (1)
E. Wood Peewee (24)
Alder Flycatcher (6)
Least Flycatcher (13)
E. Phoebe (3)
E. Kingbird (8)
Tree Swallow (43)
Barn Swallow (3)
Blue Jay (18)
A. Crow (2)
Black-Capped Chickadee (53)
Tufted Titmouse (13)
Brown Creeper (5)
Red-Breasted Nuthatch (25)
White-Breasted Nuthatch (8)
Winter Wren (5)
Golden-Crowned Kinglet (5)
E. Bluebird (2)
Veery (22)
Hermit Thrush (30)
Wood Thrush (3)
A. Robin (39)
Gray Catbird (57)
Brown Thrasher (2)
Cedar Waxwing (38)
Blue-Headed Vireo (14)
Yellow-Throated Vireo (4)
Warbling Vireo (2)
Red-Eyed Vireo (87)
Blue-Winged Warbler (4)
Yellow Warbler (21)
Chesnut-Sided Warbler (47)
Yellow Rumped Warbler (17)
Black-Throated Green Warbler (53)
Magnolia Warbler (11)
Pine Warbler (39)
Prairie Warbler (5)
Blackburnian Warbler (4)
Black-Throated Blue Warbler (3)
Black and White Warbler (10)
A. Redstart (6)
Ovenbird (41)
Louisiana Waterthrush (3)
Common Yellowthroat (105)
Canada Warbler (8: including 1 newly fledged young)
Scarlet Tanager (28)
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (11)
Indigo Bunting (5)
E. Towhee (20)
Chipping Sparrow (28)
Song Sparrow (29)
Swamp Sparrow(28)
White-Throated Sparrow (6)
Red-Winged Blackbird (95+)
C. Grackle (30+)
Brown-Headed Cowbird (15)
Bobolink (6)
Baltimore Oriole (17)
Purple Finch (4)
A. Goldfinch (11)
Evening Grosbeak (5).

(census data from Mark Lynch).

6/20/99 -- Hodges Village ACE/Greenbrier Park, Oxford
Following are the species recorded at 800 acre Hodges Village ACE/Greenbrier Park in Oxford:

2 Green Heron
1 Great Blue Heron
3 Mallard
1 Wood Duck
3 Killdeer
1 Turkey Vulture
2 Red-tailed Hawk (pair)
1 Wild Turkey
24 Mourning Dove
1 Barred Owl (called once at mid-day)
1 Chimney Swift
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
3 Belted Kingfisher
8 Northern Flicker
2 Downy Woodpecker
4 Hairy Woodpecker
4 Eastern Kingbird
2 Great Crested Flycatcher
14 Eastern Wood-pewee
2 Eastern Phoebe
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Willow Flycatcher
32 Tree Swallow
3 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
16 Blue Jay
11 American Crow
1 Common Raven
16 Tufted Titmouse
23 Black-capped Chickadee
7 Brown Creeper
8 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Red-breasted Nuthatch (pair)
8 House Wren
1 Winter Wren
5 Eastern Bluebird (2 fleglings)
2 Wood Thrush
16 Veery
24 American Robin
49 Gray Catbird
1 Northern Mockingbird
6 Brown Thrasher
12 Cedar Waxwing
6 European Starling
1 Yellow-throated Vireo
10 Red-eyed Vireo
3 Warbling Vireo
7 Blue-winged Warbler
3 Black-and-white Warbler
4 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
6 Prairie Warbler
11 Pine Warbler
34 Yellow Warbler
20 Ovenbird
2 Northern Waterthrush
1 Louisiana Waterthrush
32 Common Yellowthroat
10 American Redstart
3 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
7 Northern Cardinal
18 Eastern Towhee
21 Song Sparrow
3 Field Sparrow
7 Chipping Sparrow
9 Swamp Sparrow
45 Red-winged Blackbird
21 Brown-headed Cowbird
28 Common Grackle
13 Baltimore Oriole
8 Scarlet Tanager
4 House Sparrow
24 American Goldfinch
4 House Finch
(census data reported by Paul Meleski).

6/19/99 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
The following people participated in the 9th annual breeding bird survey at Broad Meadow Brook (Worcester) this morning (6/19/99): John Liller, Mark Lynch, Sheila Carroll, Simon Hennin, Lisa Hennin, Valerie Miller, Dan Berard, Dan Berard, Jr., Fran McMenemy, Joan Zumpfe, Kathy Mills, Bill Rasku, Paul Meleski. The following species were recorded:

Great Blue Heron (4 - new high)
Canada Goose (7)
Turkey Vulture (2)
Red-tailed Hawk (1)
Killdeer (1 - new BBS species)
Rock Dove (15)
Mourning Dove (20)
Black-billed Cuckoo (1 - building nest)
Chimney Swift (3)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (6 - new high)
Downy Woodpecker (17)
Hairy Woodpecker (7)
Northern Flicker (9)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (14)
Willow Flycatcher (3)
Eastern Phoebe (8)
Great Crested Flycatcher (1 - very low!)
Eastern Kingbird (1 - very low!)
Warbling Vireo (3)
Red-eyed Vireo (12)
Blue Jay (25)
American Crow (18)
Tree Swallow (9)
Black-capped Chickadee (33)
Tufted Titmouse (45 - new high)
White-breasted Nuthatch (30)
Carolina Wren (8 - new high; includes 2 immatures w/ parents)
House Wren (7)
Eastern Bluebird (4)
Veery (2)
Wood Thrush (16)
American Robin (32)
Gray Catbird (49)
Northern Mockingbird (1)
Brown Thrasher (6)
European Starling (28)
Cedar Waxwing (7)
Blue-winged Warbler (6)
Yellow Warbler (11 - including one feeding cowbird)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (1)
Prairie Warbler (11)
Black-and-white Warbler (5 - new high)
Common Yellowthroat (25)
Scarlet Tanager (11)
Eastern Towhee (35)
Chipping Sparrow (3)
Field Sparrow (13)
Song Sparrow (37 - including one feeding cowbird)
Northern Cardinal (14)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (8)
Red-winged Blackbird (17)
Common Grackle (98 - new high)
Brown-headed Cowbird (41 - new high, including 2 fledglings)
Baltimore Oriole (23 - new high)
American Goldfinch (33)
House Sparrow (21).

Also, American Redstart (1)
   Ovenbird (1)
   House Finch (2)

Species missing:  Mallard (2nd time), Wild Turkey (young have been 
seen recently), Indigo Bunting (1st time)

Census data reported by John Liller.