The Augusta Birding Club has been participating in the Christmas Count since 1970 and has counted over 350,000 birds over that time. About 30 members of the Augusta Birding Club will fan out on Count Day to see and record as many birds as possible within a 15-mile diameter circle centered on the State House.
2022 Audubon Christmas Bird Count
December 18, 2022
Twenty-six of us covered the 15 sections in the Augusta CBC which was moved back a day because of a winter storm. Overall, the number of species and individual birds was average to below average. We had 49 species compared to an average of 53 in the previous 10 years, and a total of 5580 birds. We had the lowest number of Mallards (29) since 2004 but a record count high (since 1970) of 375 Canada Geese. Eastern Bluebird numbers continue to increase for the count and we had a record number of 105 this year. In contrast, we had record low numbers of American Tree Sparrows (15).
Winter finches were pretty much absent but we did have an average number of Purple Finches (15) and one group of 12 Evening Grosbeaks. Our most unusual bird was a Red-shouldered Hawk, for only the second year in count history. In other count news, we continued our streak of seeing Belted Kingfishers with one seen this year. There were two Iceland Gulls found among the other gulls.
Here’s a list of all the species with the number seen:
|American Black Duck||4|
|American Tree Sparrow||15|
|Golden Crowned Kinglet||2|
|Great Black-backed Gull||4|
2021 Audubon Christmas Bird Count
December 18, 2021
Thirty-three of us covered the 15 sections in the Augusta CBC and found 11,319 birds. We had a high number of species for recent years. Overall, bird numbers for the circle were typical but some weren’t in typical locations, likely because of the below-average ice cover and lack of snow cover. We had 59 count-day species and 2 additional count-week ones, including our first ever (in the 50 years of our count) Clay-colored Sparrow and White-winged Scoter.
We had record counts of Barred Owl (3), Carolina Wren (6), Chipping Sparrow (2), Common Loon (tie) (12), Eastern Bluebird (49), Great Blue Heron (tie) (3), Northern Flicker (tie) (3), and Ring-billed Gull (713). We had our first Northern Goshawk since 2009, first Bufflehead since 2011, first Ring-necked Duck since 2014, and 7th Hermit Thrush in count history.
Winter finches were pretty much absent but we did have 1 Common Redpoll and 9 Purple Finches.
All the birds:
|American Black Duck||6|
|American Tree Sparrow||59|
|Great Black-backed Gull||4|
|Great Blue Heron||3|
2020 Audubon Christmas Bird Count Summary, Augusta circle
|American Black Duck||28|
|American Tree Sparrow||39|
|Great Black-backed Gull||1|
2019 Audubon Christmas Bird Count Summary, Augusta circle
- Turkey Vulture was a new count species, not seen in our 50 years of counting
- The Merlin was our first for count day, we had one count week in 1987
- Record totals for Northern Flicker (3), Common Goldeneye (125), Common Merganser (256), and Hooded Merganser (78)
- 2nd highest for American Crow (11,282), Belted Kingfisher (3), and Common Loon (8)
- 3rd highest for American Robin (100), Bald Eagle (72), Cedar Waxwing (305), and Red-tailed Hawk (10)
- Peregrine Falcon (count week), first since 2008
- High numbers for Brown Creeper
- Low numbers for American Tree Sparrow, Blue Jay, Hairy Woodpecker (lowest since 1995), Mourning Dove, and Wild Turkey (by far the lowest since they started appearing in numbers in the 2000 CBC).
- A single Bohemian Waxwing
- No Redpolls, Siskins, Grosbeaks, or Crossbills
Complete list and numbers: Here, the column “Number or cw” in the checklist part of the PDF is how many of each species we saw this year. The column “Max Number” refers to the entire 1970-2019 period for the Augusta CBC with the first number being the maximum recorded and the second number being the count year (2019 is Audubon count year 120). The “# Of Counts” column refers to the number of years that each species has been seen in the Augusta CBC (50 would be every year).
2018 Audubon Christmas Bird Count Summary
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Augusta Christmas Bird Count on December 16 and special thanks to Cheryl Ring for her great CBC organizing. Thirty-two of us walked 32 miles and drove 725 miles, looking for birds within 7.5 miles of the Statehouse dome. The species total of 53 on count day was about average. We also had two count-week species, Barred Owl and Great Blue Heron. We had a couple new records for high counts and several species had much higher than average (count has been going since 1970). Species such as Eastern Bluebird and Red-bellied Woodpeckers continue to increase in our area in the winter. There were low numbers of a couple duck species likely because of the low amount of open water. For irruptive birds, we had a lot of Bohemian Waxwings and some Pine Grosbeaks but no Evening Grosbeaks or Common Redpolls. Rare or unusual sparrows for our CBC included White-Crowned, Chipping, and Fox. See all the numbers and counts below the next section.
Notable species/counts (alphabetically)
- American Black Duck (2 of them), tied for second lowest count
- American crow (15,615), by far the most ever, mostly because of the 15,000 crows coming into roost
- Bald Eagle (47), 3rd highest year
- Belted Kingfisher (3), tied for 2nd highest year
- Bohemian Waxwing (305), 4th highest year
- Chipping Sparrow (1), 3rd bird ever
- Common Goldeneye (1), tied for lowest year
- Eastern Bluebird (16), 3rd highest year
- Fox Sparrow (2), 3rd year ever, first since 1999
- Lesser Black-backed Gull (1), 5th year ever
- Northern Cardinal (123), 4th highest year
- Pileated Woodpecker (16), 3rd highest year
- Red-bellied Woodpecker (9), 2nd highest year
- Red-tailed Hawk (9), 4th highest year
- Tufted Titmouse (149), highest year
- White-breasted Nuthatch (176), 3rd highest year
- White-crowned Sparrow (1), 3rd year ever, first on count day since 1977
- White-throated Sparrow (26), 4th highest year
- Wild Turkey (458), 2nd highest year
Complete list and numbers: Count Summary Report 2018, the column “Number” in the checklist part of the PDF is how many of each species we saw this year. The column “Max Number” refers to the entire 1970-2018 period for the Augusta CBC with the first number being the maximum recorded and the second number being the count year (2018 is Audubon count year 119). The “# Of Counts” column refers to the number of years that each species has been seen in the Augusta CBC (49 would be every year).
Since 1970 the Augusta Birding Club has counted all birds we can find in one day near Christmas, as part of Audubon’s large international effort. Currently 30+ Birding Club members count birds in a 7.5 mile radius around the State House Dome. It’s amazing what’s out there when you look; we typically find 5000+ individual birds of 50+ species. We have counted almost 300,000 birds since 1970.
2017 Audubon Christmas Bird Count Summary, Augusta circle
Augusta CBC 2017 video by Curry Caputo (link to YouTube) See Andrea, Curry, and family on their 2017 CBC adventure: https://youtu.be/EhsS7-WlZ2U
Augusta CBC coordinated by Cheryl Ring and Glenn Hodgkins