Dear Sandia Mountains CBC Participants,
The snow kept many of you from the locations you usually look for birds, but it brought some species that we had not seen on the count in many years to the plowed roadsides in the east mountains. These included the Western Meadowlark, last reported in 2006, Horned Lark in 2007, and Red-winged Blackbird in 2005.
There were some great finds and a few misses. The finds included four species that had never been seen on the count before:
Lincoln’s Sparrow, Pacific Wren, Band-tailed Pigeon and Great-tailed Grackle.
Some of the spectacular sightings were: Golden Eagle, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow (13 total), Rock Wren (3), Canyon Wren (2), Peregrine Falcon, Three-toed Woodpecker, All three Rosy-Finch species, andGreat Horned Owl.
The missed uncommon birds included: Gambel’s Quail, Red-naped Sapsucker, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Western Screech-Owl, Northern Harrier, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Eastern Bluebird, and Cactus Wren.
The total species count was 74, the second highest number prior to last year’s phenomenal 76 species. In 2006, 70 species were seen, but in other count years the totals were in the 60s.
By mid February you should be able to see the count results for all the Christmas Bird Counts at www.audubon.org/bird/cbc
Thanks to all of you for walking for hours in the snow and for sharing your birding expertise.