We were supposed to do our third Christmas Bird Count of the season [Dec 23], but blowing snow and zero visibility forced us to turn back. We are dedicated citizen scientists, but sometimes it is better to, as the saying goes, “be safe than sorry”. Especially right before Christmas.
Christmas Eve day we decided to conduct our third Deer Run Bird Survey (and the weather was a lot better than the day before). Birding was pretty slow, but we added three species not seen on the previous two counts: Great Horned Owl, Wild Turkey, and our winter warbler, the Yellow-rumped Warbler.
We had to cross a flooded path, but were rewarded with a good mix of birds near this running water (including the Yellow-rumped).
To date, we have sighted a total of 30 species in our survey area, but we have yet to cover a full third of the area. The number is unlikely to increase too much until spring but there are definitely some notable birds missing: Rough-legged Hawk, Eastern Screech-Owl, Cedar Waxwing, and more.
Of course, the purpose of this survey isn’t to build a big list of birds, but instead discover what types of birds use the area and how we feel the land should be restored to best enhance the diversity of birds there.