Wednesday, January 2, 2013

December 16, 2012 Ottawa-Gatineau Christmas Bird Count

Preliminary results of the Ottawa-Gatineau CBC on December 16 indicate that a total of 69 species were counted – below average. Efforts throughout the day were hampered by persistent 20-30 km winds. No new species were found, and record high counts for Mallard, Common Goldeneye, and Peregrine Falcon may need to be adjusted to account for overlap among the count sectors.

Highlights included the Harlequin Duck that has been present on the Ottawa River since December 4, a Red-throated Loon flying over the river at Lemieux Island, and a second Red-throated Loon below the Deschênes rapids that had to be rescued (two is a record high).

Bohemian Waxwings and Common Redpolls were in good supply; a total of five Hoary Redpolls were detected among the latter. On the other hand there were only 15 American Robins after a record high of 441 individuals last year. American Crows were down by half of the usual 10,000 but it is difficult to establish whether there has been an actual drop in population or the roost has fragmented. The count for Blue Jay was the lowest in almost four decades and for House Sparrow it was one of the lowest totals, if not the lowest, ever.

The final results will be posted on the OFNC web site by the compiler.

Bernie Ladouceur, compiler

A late Red-throated Loon off Britannia Point at Deschenes Rapids, Ottawa River.  

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