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Little River IBA Breeding Bird Count

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June 2, 2017

Seth Kellogg

Most field work for this 14th annual project was done during cool and breezy weather Friday evening and Saturday, with the compilation on Sunday evening, June 4 at the home of Joanne Fortin.  There were 9 teams and 15 observers in the field covering hilly, wooded, and sparsely populated parts of Granville, Blandford, Westfield, Russell and Southwick.  The counters recorded 115 species, the highest total since 2007.  The 85 total hours of coverage was close to the highest ever in 2006 (88.25) and ten higher than the historical average.  However, the 3776 total individuals and the 44.4 average of individuals per hour were both well below average.

Notably low species counts compared to average were for Red-eyed Vireo 258 (302), Ovenbird 203 (238), and Veery 121 (142).  Other species also lower were Hermit Thrush 9 (24), Wood Thrush 34 (47), Yellow Warbler 34 (46), Yellowthroat 81 (102), Magnolia Warbler 11 (19), Black-throated Blue Warbler 55 (84), Yellow-rumped 9 (17), Black-throated Green 34 (59), and Rose-breasted Grosbeak 11 (16).

The next 27 species average from 47 to 112 individuals per year.  The next 33 species average from 10 to 40 per year.  There are 56 more species with less than 10 individuals average per year.  That adds up to 120 species record-ed over the 13 years of counting.  This year, high counts were set for Hummingbird (21), Phoebe (54), Tree Swallow (92), Rough-winged Swallow (10), Red-breasted Nuthatch (12), Eastern Bluebird (22), Gray Catbird (104), Louisiana Waterthrush (9), Pine Warbler (24), Prairie Warbler (15), Bobolink (96), Red-winged Blackbird (138), and Grackle (67).  The Common Merganser, Bald Eagle, and American Kestrel were found for only the 5th time, Brown Thrasher for the 4th time, Sora for the third time, and Hooded Warbler for the first time.