Red-tailed Hawk gets
by F. Portmann K
Since its beginning in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count has lured intrepid (and hearty) birders out to brave the late-December chill to count birds in their local area. The count period itself extends from December 14 through January 5. Data generated by the CBC have been invaluable to scientists, allowing researchers to investigate the changes in species’ range over time. (For a good example, see this exploration of bird populations and climate changeusing Christmas Bird Count data.
As in years past, NYC Audubon coordinated the 2012 Central Park count, held this year on December 16th. This was the 113th year of data collected in this premier urban park. With respect to trends over the past few years, 2012 witnessed higher numbers than seen in 2011, but was within the range of birds and species seen since 2007. Volunteers have counted between 3,288 birds (in 2011) and 7,771 birds (in 2007) and anywhere between 50 species (in 2009) and 57 species (in both 2007 and 2008). This year’s tally was 5,721 birds (a 74% increase from last year’s count) and 56 species (two more species than last year’s count). The most common species seen was the herring gull (n=1,168 seen in all areas of the Park) and there were a number of unusual species seen this year, possibly as a result of irruptions from the north (see Gabriel Willow’s write-up of this phenomenon). Notable species spottedin Central Park this year included 2 common redpolls and 4 white-winged crossbills. Thanks to all the volunteer citizen scientists who came out on a cool, showery morning to help us collect this important information once again. Join us in 2013 for the 114th year!
An unusual species anytime of year for Central Park - Red-headed Woodpecker gets counted in 2010 and again in 2011!
by F. Portmann
Results from Previous Years
Click on an area below to view the results of the 112th Christmas Bird Count in all 5 boroughs.
Click on an area below to view the results of the 111th Christmas Bird Count in Manhattan.