2023 May Count Summary
There were 16 teams and 31 observers out in Hampden County territories for the count held on May 12-13. The weather was pleasantly warm in the 80s on Friday evening with hardly a breeze. Saturday early morning was cool, temps were in the 50s, reaching mid-80s by late day—wind was negligible—a good birding day all the way around. Together the teams recorded 144 species, which was 9 more than the average counted in the last ten years. At 11,166 individuals, we brought in the highest number of birds since 2011 and 1,700 birds above the ten-year average.
As is typical, most of the common species were near their recent or long-term average, but some were noticeably higher. In parentheses is the total for 2023 followed by the past 10-year average: Solitary Sandpiper (28-19), Least Sandpiper (63-28), Northern Waterthrush (22-12), Black & White (92-55), Tennessee (35-10, more than half of the 35 for this year counted in same location), Parula (118-51) and RC Kinglet (9 – only one other seen in last 10 count years and it was in 2020.
Those species having the max count for the last ten count years include, DC Cormorant (70-41), Broad-winged Hawk (7-3), Kingfisher (18-11), Warbling Vireo (163-118), Rough-winged Swallow (105-55), Barn Swallow (108-67), RB Nuthatch (23-1), Scarlet Tanager (91-70), Indigo Bunting (29-18), Grackle (573-430), and Fish Crow (16-6).
There were several species whose numbers were highest ever in our 61-year count history, Canada Goose (547), Bald Eagle (20) and Lesser Yellowlegs (14).
We did not add any new species to the May Count this year, but we did have several species that had not been seen for quite a while. The date following the species is when it was last recorded on the May Count. Steve S had Philadelphia Vireo (2001) and Michele and Chris M spotted Green-winged Teal (2008) and Wigeon (2002, and only ever seen one other time in 2000).
Low species counts this year were Downy Woodpecker (45-55), Chickadee (105-143) and House Wren (35-59).
We did have some misses this year that would have been nice to include. We did not get Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and itis the 5th time we miss it in the past 10 years and no Nighthawks either, 4th time for this species. Gulls are hit or miss at this time of year in our area, but we did miss on Herring and Great Black-backed Gull.
Thanks to all who spent many hours in the field, especially Steve S’s team, who put in a tiring 18 hours of effort, and Dave M’s team, who racked up 111 species for the day. Though these teams stand-out and deserve recognition, every team that participates contributes to covering a piece of the pie and all efforts are sincerely appreciated.
Click below to view or download complete count results.