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Birdathon Results!

Birdathon Results!

Red-breasted Mergansers by Skye Haas

Here is the moment you have been waiting for- the results of the WPBO 2017 Birdathon are in! The WPBO staff, along with our good friend and volunteer Elliot Nelson scoured Chippewa County last Saturday the 27th for as many species of birds as we could find to raise money for the research programs here at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory. Picking a date to run Birdathon is always tricky as the species diversity we depend on for generating a big total is highly dependent on the weather and the amount of incoming migrants to the area the night before. So we hmm’d and haw’d and consulted the auguries (Weather Underground I mean…) and decided that the forecast of south winds and incoming warm frontal system without too much wet weather associated with it was going to be our best bet. The day before had seen a prefrontal movement of songbirds in- it all looked very promising for good migration!

Spruce Grouse by Skye Haas

Except as it turned out, it was the wrong kind of migration! It was the kind of migration that sent birds away but brought no replacements to us! The day started very promising with Chris and Nova banding several Northern Saw-whet and Long-eared Owls as well as Elliot finding what would be the bird of the day, a singing Nelson’s Sparrow in the marsh at Munuscong Bay! However as Louie and Skye were soon to discover, there were very few migrants at the Point itself. Louie maintained his count at the beach while Skye & Gary headed into the bog country of Tahquamenon Falls State Park to try and dig out boreal breeding species. Luck was with them at first as they quickly bumped into a Spruce Grouse, the only one of the day. A few more northern bog birds were encountered like the only Palm and Canada Warblers of the day but it was time to get the hawk count started so Gary headed back to the Point. The Hawk Deck had a modest selection of raptors, and late in the day a pair of Red Crossbills flew over. Out at the beach, there were hardly any waterbirds flying by, but a handful of shorebirds were present and Louie snagged a Red-headed Woodpecker!

Red-headed Woodpecker by Louie Dombroski

Not only our only one of these handsome birds for the day, but it ended up being the only one this entire field season. Surprisingly, neither the Red-bellied or Black-backed Woodpeckers that had been around the last few days could be foundBut as the day went along, and we kept digging and digging, birds kept finding themselves on our big day list. Elliot did rather well in the farm country of eastern Chippewa, tallying in such goodies like Sharp-tailed Grouse, Upland Sandpiper and Le Conte’s Sparrow, while the WPBO staff ended up getting treated to a big Whimbrel flight at dusk with hundreds of these arctic nesting curlews migrating by.

Canada Warbler by Skye Haas

In all, we were pleasantly surprised to tally in 152 species, only four less than last year’s total. Not bad and a testimony to how birdy Chippewa County is even on a “slow day”. We all had fun with it, and although we had visions of multi-species warbler flocks dancing in the jack pines before us, getting to end the count with a big Whimbrel movement was a great way to cap the day. I’m just left with one question- how on earth did we not get a White-crowned Sparrow?!  They were present at the feeders every day for two weeks before Birdathon, and showed right back up the next day through the end of the season. What’cha gonna do? But I do want to give a mighty thank you to everyone who donated to Birdathon, and your contribution is valuable to supporting the research projects here at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory! And of course, if you wanted to contribute, but never got around to it, it’s still not too late! You can visit here to make a contribution. Again thank you for all the support!


And of course the list of birds seen.

1 Canada Goose
2 Mute Swan
3 Wood Duck
4 Gadwall
5 American Wigeon
6 Mallard
7 Blue-winged Teall
8 Northern Shoveler
9 Green-winged Teal
10 Canvasback
11 Lesser Scaup
12 White-winged Scoter
13 Common Goldeneye
14 Hooded Merganser
15 Common Merganser
16 Ruffed Grouse
17 Spruce Grouse
18 Sharp-tailed Grouse
19 Wild Turkey
20 Red-throated Loon
21 Common Loon
22 Pied-billed Grebe
23 Red-necked Grebe
24 Double-crested Cormorant
25 American Bittern
26 Great Blue Heron
27 Black-crowned Night-Heron
28 Turkey Vulture
29 Northern Harrier
30 Sharp-shinned Hawk
31 Bald Eagle
32 Broad-winged Hawk
33 Red-tailed Hawk
34 Rough-legged Hawk
35 Virginia Rail
36 Sora
37 Sandhill Crane
38 Black-bellied Plover
39 Semipalmated Plover
40 Piping Plover
41 Killdeer
42 Upland Sandpiper
43 Whimbrel
44 Ruddy Turnstone
45 Sanderling
46 Dunlin
47 White-rumped Sandpiper
48 Semipalmated Sandpiper
49 Wilson’s Snipe
50 American Woodcock
51 Spotted Sandpiper
52 Lesser Yellowlegs
53 Bonaparte’s Gull
54 Ring-billed Gull
55 Herring Gull
56 Caspian Tern
57 Black Tern
58 Common Tern
59 Rock Pigeon
60 Mourning Dove
61 Black-billed Cuckoo
62 Long-eared Owl
63 Northern Saw-whet Owl
64 Eastern Whip-poor-will
65 Common Nighthawk
66 Chimney Swift
67 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
68 Belted Kingfisher
69 Red-headed Woodpecker
70 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
71 Northern Flicker
72 Downy Woodpecker
73 Hairy Woodpecker
74 American Kestrel
75 Merlin
76 Eastern Wood-Pewee
77 Alder Flycatcher
78 Least Flycatcher
79 Eastern Phoebe
80 Great Crested Flycatcher
81 Eastern Kingbird
82 Horned Lark
83 Warbling Vireo
84 Philadelphia Vireo
85 Red-eyed Vireo
86 Blue Jay
87 American Crow
88 Common Raven
89 Tree Swallow
90 Barn Swallow
91 Cliff Swallow
92 Black-capped Chickadee
93 Red-breasted Nuthatch
94 Brown Creeper
95 House Wren
96 Winter Wren
97 Sedge Wren
98 Marsh Wren
99 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
100 Golden-crowned Kinglet
101 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
102 Eastern Bluebird
103 Veery
104 Hermit Thrush
105 American Robin
106 Gray Catbird
107 Brown Thrasher
108 American Pipit
109 European Starling
110 Cedar Waxwing
111 Ovenbird
112 Northern Waterthrush
113 Golden-winged Warbler
114 Black-and-white Warbler
115 Nashville Warbler
116 Mourning Warbler
117 Common Yellowthroat
118 American Redstart
119 Northern Parula
120 Blackburian Warbler
121 Yellow Warbler
122 Chestnut-sided Warbler
123 Black-throated Blue Warbler
124 Palm Warbler
125 Yellow-rumped Warbler
126 Black-throated Green Warbler
127 Canada Warbler
128 Le Conte’s Sparrow
129 Nelson’s Sparrow
130 Chipping Sparrow
131 Clay-colored Sparrow
132 Dark-eyed Junco
133 White-throated Sparrow
134 Vesper Sparrow
135 Savannah Sparrow
136 Song Sparrow
137 Swamp Sparrow
138 Scarlet Tanager
139 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
140 Indigo Bunting
141 Bobolink
142 Red-winged Blackbird
143 Eastern Meadowlark
144 Brewer’s Blackbird
145 Common Grackle
146 Brown-headed Cowbird
147 Purple Finch
148 Red Crossbill
149 Pine Siskin
150 American Goldfinch
151 Evening Grosbeak
152 House Sparrow
2017-06-06T17:00:52+00:00June 6th, 2017|Recent Sightings|Comments Off on Birdathon Results!