Results shared of 60th Monte Vista NWR Christmas Bird Count


MONTE VISTA — The Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge held their annual Christmas Bird Count on December 16 in the San Luis Valley. 

Sixteen people (six teams and two feeder watchers) spent a total of five hours and covered over 283 miles on the count. Weather conditions during the day were warm with partly cloudy skies. The temperature got up to an unseasonal 38 degrees and no wind. Coverage of the count circle was thorough because of the many people we had.

This year’s numbers were above average. A total of 52 species were documented and 5,242 individuals. Sixty-three species is still the record. Best birds were all three Rosy-Finch, Ferruginous Hawk, Evening Grosbreak, Belted Kingfisher, Praire Falcon and a first-ever winter record of Brown-headed Cowbirds.

This information was sent to the National Audubon to be included in the National Christmas Bird Count. The website (http://www.audubon.org/bird/cbc/) is easy to access and visitors can see how the Valley has done in years past as far as the numbers go.

Thanks to all who helped with this year’s count. See you next year in December 2018! All backyard feeder watchers are encouraged to participate next year too.

The following is a summary list of species and individual numbers of each that were documented during the 2017 event:

American Crow – 167

American Goldfinch – 61

American Kestrel – 15

American Robin- 2

American Tree Sparrow – 64

Bald Eagle – 11

Belted Kingfisher – 1

Bewick’s Wren – 1

Black Rosy-finch – 1

Black-billed Magpie – 246

Black-capped Chickadee – 5

Brewer’s Blackbird – 1

Brown-capped Rosy-finch – 200

Brown-headed Cowbird – 25

Canada Goose – 332

Clark’s Nutcracker – 2

Common Goldeneye – 1

Common Raven – 98

Dark-eyed Junco – 81

Downey Woodpecker – 2

Eurasian Collared-dove – 127

European Starling – 1100

Evening Grosbeak – 47

Ferruginous Hawk – 1

Golden-crowned Kinglet – 2

Gray-crowned Rosy-finch – 4

Great Blue Heron – 4

Great Horned Owl – 19

Great-tail Grackle – 11

Hairy Woodpecker – 4

Horned Lark – 330

House Finch – 337

House Sparrow – 958

Mallard – 227

Marsh Wren – 12

Mountain Chickadee – 22

Northern Flicker – 8

Northern Harrier – 17

Norther Shoveler – 10

Peregrine Falcon – 1

Prairie Falcon – 4

Red-tailed Hawk – 51

Red-winged Blackbird – 167

Rock Pigeon – 286

Rough-legged Hawk – 21

Sandhill Crane – 47

Song Sparrow – 34

Townsends Solitaire – 2

Western Meadowlark – 8

White-breasted Nuthatch – 6

White-crowned Sparrow – 7

Wilson’s Snipe - 2

Captions: Volunteers gear up for the annual Christmas Bird Count at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge./Courtesy photos

Prairie falcon


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