Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Bird Count, Boxing Day 2018

The chilly Boxing Day weather did not deter the hardy birding folk from taking part in the 118th Annual Christmas Bird Count at Elk Island National Park on December 26, 2018. Once again, thanks to the generosity of Doug Pewarchuk, the Friends of Elk Island Society was able to use the Golf Course Clubhouse as our home base, making sure the people trudging through the snow, and driving around our Count Circle, were kept warm and well fed with lots of homemade chili and free flowing coffee. We were fortunate to have a Feeder Watcher adding to our Count, also. Even as the temperature hovered around -14 to-16C, we still had 41 participants show up. Brave souls indeed!

The seasoned pros and birding novices saw a total of 27 species. The birds counted were:

  • 1 Northern Goshawk
  • 4 Ruffed Grouse
  • 36 Rock Pigeons(feral)
  • 1 Great Horned Owl
  • 28 Downy Woodpeckers
  • 12 Hairy Woodpeckers
  • 3 Pileated Woodpeckers
  • 11 Blue Jays,
  • 65 Black-billed Magpies
  • 40 Ravens
  • 140 Black-capped Chickadees
  • 13 Boreal Chickadees
  • 12White-Breasted Nuthatches
  • 2 Snow Buntings
  • 1 Pine Grosbeak
  • 250 Common Redpolls
  • 19 House Sparrows
  • 44 Pine Siskins
  • 1 Three-toed Woodpecker
  • 4 American Crows
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 2 Purple Finches
  • 40 European Starlings
  • 1 Bohemian Waxwing
  • 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, and
  • 2 Hoary Redpolls.

In addition to birds, there were 11 moose, 69 Plains Bison, 16 Wood Bison, 1 White-tailed deer, 5 Mule Deer, 9 Coyotes, 3 Snowshoe Hares, and 24 Red Squirrels spotted.

All of this information has been forwarded to the Audubon Society, to be recorded with Christmas Bird Counts held all over North America.

Thank you so much to Doug Pewarchuk, and all of the hardy souls who braved the cold weather and bad roads to Count the birds, and Thank You to the Friends of Elk Island Society for hosting this event, and supplying all the food and hot drinks!

Gwynne Hayward(Compiler) on behalf of the Friends of Elk Island Society

Photo: Elk Island Golf Course in winter.