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Juneau Christmas Bird Count encounters unique visitor

Posted: January 25, 2013 - 1:03am

This year’s Juneau Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, Dec. 15 tallied 12,183 individual birds, plus 66 different species. An additional 10 species were identified during the count week.

Volunteers and members — 28 total — with the Juneau Audubon Society lucked out with the weather this year, as the prior day was “absolutely miserable.”

Leading up to the count, volunteers didn’t expect a great diversity of birds, as lingering wintery conditions had pushed many remaining birds to the south.

The total count of individual birds was above average, but this was the case only because of a record smashing number of mallards; many species were seen in low numbers. All the common species that have been seen on the previous 39 counts were found once again.

The highlights of count day included a snowy owl, spotted on the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge, by Nick Hajdukovich and Amy Clark Courtney, and a sooty grouse, spotted by Julie Coghill, near the Treadwell Ditch on Douglas Island. Other highlights included the continued presence of the swamp sparrow near Temsco Helicopters, and a terrific variety of waterfowl on the wetlands and the lower Mendenhall River.

Species 2012 Count

Canada Goose 923

Trumpeter Swan 3

Tundra Swan 1

Gadwall 1

Eurasian Wigeon 1

American Wigeon 205

Mallard 4,868

Northern Shoveler 1

Northern Pintail cw

Green-winged Teal 34

Canvasback 1

Greater Scaup 173

Lesser Scaup 7

Unidentified Scaup 179

Harlequin Duck 71

Surf Scoter 174

White-winged Scoter 114

Black Scoter cw

Long-tailed Duck 29

Bufflehead 169

Common Goldeneye 110

Barrow’s Goldeneye 255

Unidentified Goldeneyes 7

Hooded Merganser 3

Common Merganser 67

Red-breasted Merganser 43

Unidentified Mergansers 3

Sooty Grouse 1

Pacific Loon cw

Common Loon 4

Horned Grebe 16

Red-necked Grebe 7

Pelagic Cormorant 21

Unidentified Cormorants 5

Great Blue Heron 1

Bald Eagle 134

Northern Goshawk 1

Killdeer 2

Black Turnstone cw

Rock Sandpiper 28

Dunlin cw

Wilson’s Snipe cw

Mew Gull 101

Glaucous-winged Gull 1,371

Unidentified Gulls 276

Species 2012 Count

Common Murre 2

Marbled Murrelet 25

Eurasian Collared-Dove 1

Rock Pigeon 136

Snowy Owl 1

Short-eared Owl cw

Belted Kingfisher 3

Hairy Woodpecker 1

Unidentified Woodpeckers 1

Northern Shrike cw

Steller’s Jay 61

Black-billed Magpie 43

Northwestern Crow 915

Common Raven 325

Chestnut-backed Chickadee 130

Red-breasted Nuthatch 6

Pacific Wren 1

American Dipper 5

Golden-crowned Kinglet 22

American Robin 2

Varied Thrush 3

European Starling 1

Bohemian Waxwing 5

American Tree Sparrow 5

Fox Sparrow 1

Song Sparrow 20

Lincoln’s Sparrow cw

Swamp Sparrow 1

White-crowned Sparrow 1

Dark-eyed Junco 294

Snow Bunting 64

Rusty Blackbird 2

Pine Grosbeak 7

Red Crossbill cw

White-winged Crossbill 226

Unidentified Crossbills 40

Common Redpoll 280

Pine Siskin 143

Count Day Species 66

Total Individuals 12,183

Additional CW Species 10

• "cw" indicates that species was counted during the days leading up to and after the official count day on Dec. 15, 2012.

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