Results of 61st Monte Vista NWR Christmas Bird Count:

Red-tailed hawk

MONTE VISTA — The Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge held their annual Christmas Bird Count on December 15 in the San Luis Valley. 

Seventeen people (five teams) spent a total of 5.5 hours and covered over 240 miles on the count. Three families participated by watching their feeders for about six hours. Weather conditions during the day were warmish with partly cloudy skies and no wind. The day started out at 16 degrees farenheit and rose to a balmy 46?F. Participants covered most of the 176 square miles of circle.

This year’s numbers were average. A total of 47 species were documented and 5169 individuals, which is up from last years 3817 individuals. Sixty-three species is still the record. Rough-legged hawk numbers were down from last year, while Red-tail hawks were plentiful. Best birds were all three Rosy-finch, Northern shrike, Sandhill crane, and Prairie falcon. During the count week, a Wilson’s snipe was reported.

Local information was sent to the National Audubon to be included in the National Christmas Bird Count. The website ( is easy to access to see how we have done in years past as far as the numbers go.

Thank you to all of you who helped with this year’s count.

The following is a summary list of species and individual numbers of each that were documented during the 2018 event:

516 Canada goose

25 Gadwall

167 Mallard

2 American Green-winged teal

1 Wilson’s snipe

5 Great blue heron

2 Golden eagle

10 Northern harrier

9 Bald eagle

61 Red-tailed hawk

2 Rough-legged hawk

2 Sandhill crane

275 Rock pigeon

196 Eurasian Collared-dove

13 Great Horned owl

1 Belted kingfisher

5 Downey woodpecker

4 Hairy woodpecker

12 Northern flicker

5 American kestrel

3 Prairie falcon

2 Noerthern shrike

220 Black-billed magpie

82 American crow

95 Common raven

368 Horned lark

8 Black-capped chickadee

13 Mountain chickadee

6 Bushtit

8 White-breasted nuthatch

3 Marsh wren

1 Townsend’s Solitaire

3 American robin

1213 European starling

4 American tree sparrow

41 Dark-eyed junco

7 White-crowned sparrow

45 Song sparrow

42 Red-winged blackbird

3 Great-tailed grackle

33 Gray-crowned Rosy-finch

4 Black Rosy-finch

150 Brown-capped Rosy-finch

286 House finch

114 American goldfinch

20 Evening Grosbeak

1075 House Sparrow


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