Bird Count Reports
Saskatoon Spring Migration Bird Count
May 28, 2016
by Kyron Giroux
The 2016 spring bird count took place on May 28th. It was a windy day with winds gusting up to 41 km/h, as well as a small downpour in the late afternoon. There were 41 participants, the lowest number since 1999, when this statistic was first tabulated. With the lack of participants, there were two sectors that did not get counted. Despite these downsides, the count was not too far below the long-term mean with a total of 27,477 individual birds being counted; the long-term mean being 32,143. There was a total of 167 different species reported, just seven shy of the long-term mean.
Goose and duck numbers were quite high this year, which is likely why the count did not fall too far behind average. Almost every duck recorded higher than their long-term mean. The Snow Goose had a record high count with 65 individuals, beating the current record of 27 in 2012 by a wide margin. There was a surprisingly high number of Canada Geese, with a total count of 1,359, far above their long- term mean of 718, and would be a record high if not for a count of 1,645 in 1993. There were even a surprising couple of Wood Ducks found this year, which have not been found on the spring count since 2010.
Grebe numbers were fairly similar to the geese and ducks, with all of them counting above their long-term mean, with the exception of the Western Grebe, with only six individuals being counted, far below their mean of 76.
There were a few other species that reached all-time highs. Pileated Woodpecker was one, with 3 individuals; Say’s Phoebe was another, with 4 individuals, both beat their previous records by a single bird. The interesting one is Black-capped Chickadee with 172 individuals, beating the previous record of 153 in 2012.
Warbler numbers were higher than the long-term mean of 805, with 1,287 individuals being reported. Even with this high number count, there was a fairly low species count with 11 different species recorded, most of which were represented by only a couple individuals. The high number count came from the Yellow Warblers, which reached a record high number of 1,173 individuals. Surprisingly, there were four Yellow-breasted Chats reported, which have not been found on a spring count since 1993.
Finch numbers were all right around average. However, there was a surprising total of six species of finch, with both species of Crossbill being recorded this year.
You can download the complete tabulated report here:
Saskatoon Nature Society
Connecting People and Nature
Saskatoon Nature Society
Box 448, RPO University
Saskatoon, SK S7N 4J8