The results are in from the Spring Bird Count and they are a rather mixed bag. First of all, Winnebago County had 164 species, the sixth lowest total in the last 10 years but ten more species than 2006. At least 12 missed species were seen during our 72-hour birding event (but that was two weeks later).
There were some nice surprises such as Least Bittern, Red-breasted Merganser, and some late to leave birds: Dark-eyed Junco, Fox Sparrow, and Golden-crowned Kinglet. 15,805 birds were counted with noticeable decreases in Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, House Wren, and others.
A big disappointment was the lack of shorebirds (expected) as less than 200 individuals were sighted in only seven species. Considering the majority were Killdeer, this is really lame and why we wish there was more shorebird habitat in our county.
One of the highlights for our birding team was sighting the only Hooded Warbler and one of the two Cerulean Warblers of the day. The spring count provides some of the best birding because it makes you really focus on every bird you find. We are trying to encourage other counts throughout the year to help provide a wider spectrum of birdlife in our area.