Bird Count Reports

Saskatoon Fall Migration Bird Count
September, 2018

by Kiron Giroux

Thirty-four participants contended with rain showers and wind for part of the day, but still managed a total species count (149) that was four higher than the long-term average (LTA). Single individuals of three seldom-seen species were observed: Blackburnian Warbler, Prairie Falcon and Whooping Crane. For each species it was only the third sighting on the Fall Count since 1995.

All-time (since 1995) high counts were recorded for Ring-necked Duck (253), Lesser Scaup (609), Common Nighthawk (3), Forster’s Tern (10), Common Grackle (623), Bay-breasted Warbler (6) and Yellow Warbler (48). Mountain Bluebirds were at an 8-year high (84), but still only 74% of their LTA.

Some long-term trends are noticeable when 5-year average counts since 1995 are compared. The most general decline is among sparrows where all but Vesper and Lincoln’s Sparrow have declined at least 50 %. The most significant declines (1995-99 average, 2014-18 average) are American Tree Sparrow (14, 1), Dark-eyed Junco (266, 11), Harris’s Sparrow (18, 1), Song Sparrow (26, 8) and Swamp Sparrow (9, 1). Other declining species include Greater White-fronted Goose (1895, 292), Western Grebe (60, 8), Black-bellied Plover (12, 1), Pectoral Sandpiper (22, 2), Bonaparte’s Gull (33, 5), American Crow (3059, 919), Mountain Bluebird (239, 46) and Rusty Blackbird (11, 0).

Among notable long-term upward trends (1995-99 average, 2014-18 average) are Hooded Merganser (4, 20), Gray Partridge (7, 34), Mourning Dove (35, 273), Killdeer (39, 136), Semipalmated Sandpiper (2, 19), Franklin’s Gull (488, 1496), Downy Woodpecker (4, 15), Vireos (3, 16), Common Raven (11, 68), Gray Catbird (5, 36) and House Finch (8,76).

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Saskatoon Nature Society
Box 448, RPO University
Saskatoon, SK S7N 4J8