76th Bronx/Westchester Christmas Bird Count

December 26, 1999

Eighty-two participants recorded 120 species and 56,325 birds in the 76th Bronx-Westchester Christmas Bird Count. This was the 100th anniversary of the first Christmas Bird Counts which started on Christmas Day, 1900. The Bronx-Westchester Count started in 1924.

Highlights include the count's first Dark-eyed (Pink-sided) Junco found near Wave Hill in the Bronx. A Sedge Wren (the first since 1961), Marsh Wren, Barred Owl and Yellow-breasted Chat were in Marshlands Conservancy. Two Peregrine Falcons were busy in Edith G. Read Sanctuary along with a Savannah (Ipswich) Sparrow, last seen in 1977. Northern Gannet and both Black and Surf Scoter were on Long Island Sound. A Snowy Egret (4th count record) was first seen from Glen Island flying north and was found later at Five Island Park along with a Eurasian Wigeon. Red-necked Grebe was also off Glen Island. A Merlin was found in Lake Isle Country Club and a Rough-legged Hawk was in Eastchester. A Baltimore Oriole was in Riverdale and 37 Rusty Blackbird patrolled Van Cortlandt Swamp. Pelham Bay Park had over 2000 Common Grackles and both Barn and Saw-whet Owls.

Waterfowl were abundant this year. New high counts were set for Gadwall (227), Redhead (44), Lesser Scaup (1562), Hooded Merganser (271) and Ruddy Duck (2332). American Wigeon set a 25-year high and Common Merganser a 37-year high.

We again set a record for Red-bellied Woodpecker at 159.

Ring-necked Pheasant set an all time low of only 8 birds.

Health Commissioners were interested in our crow numbers due to the occurrence of West-Nile encephalitis this summer. American Crow numbers did dropped significantly from a record high of 3547 last year to only 1349 in 1999. BUT, this year's numbers are on average for crow numbers that were found in the 70's and 80's before the dramatic increase of crows seen in the 90's. One must ask if the explosion of American Crows in the 90's was one of the factors in the outbreak of West Nile-like Encephalitis this summer and if the drop to more "normal" levels of crows reduces the likelihood of an "outbreak" of the virus in 2000.

Thanks to all who volunteered. The 82 people on the count were our second highest participation level and included many new faces. Thirty-one of us enjoyed the compilation dinner, which was held at San Martino Ristorante this year. I heard many positive comments about the restaurant. The food was good and the waitresses were very attentive and accommodating. The complete compilation results are below.

Due to the holidays next winter, next year's count will be held Saturday (not Sunday!), December 23, 2000. Hope to see you there.

Michael Bochnik
(914) 237-9331
BochnikM@cs.com

  Species Hudson Valley Yonkers West Bronx East Bronx

Rye

Scarsdale

TOTALS

 

1

Red-throated Loon         2 4

6

 

2

Common Loon

1

     

3

2

6

 

3

Pied-billed Grebe  

6

1

2

1

3

13

43 year high

4

Horned Grebe      

12

1

1

14

 

5

Red-necked Grebe          

1

1

Off Glen Island

6

NORTHERN GANNET        

3

(3)

3

2nd year in a row

7

Great Cormorant      

6

15

30

51

 

8

Double-crested Cormorant

2

 

1

8

2

1

14

 

9

Great Blue Heron  

4

4

4

24

7

43

 

10

SNOWY EGRET          

1

1

Last seen 1987, 4th count record

11

Mute Swan  

2

2

23

10

69

106

Lowest since 1986

12

Brant      

41

 

50

91

 

13

Canada Goose

366

1154

571

1048

601

3180

6920

 

14

Wood Duck    

17

 

11

19

47

 

15

Green-winged Teal (Am.)    

15

   

21

36

 

16

American Black Duck

2

7

20

639

565

410

1643

 

17

Mallard

31

343

268

468

392

633

2135

 
  Species Hudson Valley Yonkers West Bronx East Bronx

Rye

Scarsdale

TOTALS

 
  mallard hybrid  

2

4

1

1

7

15

 

18

Northern Pintail  

1

 

2

3

 

6

 

19

Northern Shoveler  

12

94

2

 

22

130

 

20

Gadwall

8

 

7

136

68

8

227

New High Count (92 in 1995)

21

EURASIAN WIGEON          

1

1

Seen 4 times in last 5 years

22

American Wigeon      

23

218

150

391

25 year high

23

Canvasback

10

21

2

36

30

24

123

 

24

Redhead      

43

1

 

44

New High Count (20 in 1986)

25

Ring-necked Duck  

1

     

15

16

 

26

Greater Scaup      

3505

5800

160

9465

 

27

Lesser Scaup      

352

1200

10

1562

New High Count (1257 in 1998)

28

Oldsquaw        

14

10

24

 

29

Black Scoter          

5

5

 

30

Surf Scoter        

2

 

2

 

31

Common Goldeneye  

2

2

46

55

54

159

 

32

Bufflehead

1

3

 

315

200

488

1007

 

33

Hooded Merganser  

88

18

16

79

70

271

New High Count (196 in 1994)

34

Common Merganser

3

52

1

     

56

37 year high

35

Red-breasted Merganser  

18

 

61

99

123

301

 

36

Ruddy Duck  

22

57

1413

238

602

2332

New High Count (1225 in 1992)
  Species Hudson Valley Yonkers West Bronx East Bronx

Rye

Scarsdale

TOTALS

 

37

Turkey Vulture  

1

       

1

 

38

Northern Harrier      

1

   

1

 

39

Sharp-shinned Hawk  

1

3

4

2

6

16

 

40

Cooper's Hawk  

1

1

3

1

3

9

 

41

Northern Goshawk    

1

 

1

 

2

 

42

Red-shouldered Hawk  

1

 

1

1

 

3

 

43

Red-tailed Hawk

8

7

22

28

12

29

106

 

44

Rough-legged Hawk          

1

1

Eastchester, 1st in 8 years

45

American Kestrel      

1

2

 

3

 

46

Merlin          

1

1

Lake Isle CC

47

Peregrine Falcon        

2

 

2

5th year in a row

48

Ring-necked Pheasant    

1

3

 

4

8

ALL TIME LOW !

49

Wild Turkey  

3

1

 

3

 

7

 

50

Virginia Rail        

1

 

1

 

51

American Coot  

9

2

 

2

4

17

 
  Black-bellied Plover      

CW

   

CW

 

52

Killdeer  

1

 

7

8

3

19

 

53

Ruddy Turnstone          

15

15

 

54

Sanderling          

2

2

 

55

Purple Sandpiper        

15

90

105

 
  Species Hudson Valley Yonkers West Bronx East Bronx

Rye

Scarsdale

TOTALS

 

56

Dunlin        

17

15

32

 

57

American Woodcock          

1

1

 

58

Bonaparte's Gull        

5

250

255

30 year high

59

Ring-billed Gull

196

1123

202

999

530

2324

5374

 

60

Herring Gull

13

81

74

374

873

1757

3172

 

61

Great Black-backed Gull

28

9

11

20

43

91

202

 

62

Rock Dove

65

260

490

86

135

575

1611

 

63

Mourning Dove

45

73

31

97

106

325

677

 

64

BARN OWL      

1

   

1

Last seen in 1992

65

Eastern Screech-Owl          

3

3

 

66

Great Horned Owl      

3

CW

3

6

 

67

Barred Owl        

1

 

1

 

68

Northern Saw-whet Owl      

3

   

3

 

69

Belted Kingfisher  

4

4

3

4

10

25

 
  RED HEADED WOODPECKER    

CW

     

CW

 

70

Red-bellied Woodpecker

5

15

32

19

20

68

159

New High Count (150 in 1998)
  Species Hudson Valley Yonkers West Bronx East Bronx

Rye

Scarsdale

TOTALS

 

71

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

2

2

4

1

1

4

14

 

72

Downy Woodpecker

19

11

16

12

29

78

165

 

73

Hairy Woodpecker

7

2

7

4

10

35

65

36 year high

74

Northern Flicker

1

7

7

16

2

10

43

 

75

Pileated Woodpecker

CW

       

1

1

 

76

Blue Jay

26

21

138

76

75

124

460

 

77

American Crow

69

118

320

124

126

592

1349

10 year low after record 3547 last year

78

Fish Crow  

1

10

1

CW

4

16

 

79

Black-capped Chickadee

32

64

107

64

197

310

774

 

80

Tufted Titmouse

27

59

124

94

69

287

660

 

81

Red-breasted Nuthatch  

1

2

 

1

4

8

 

82

White-breasted Nuthatch

13

22

47

11

40

68

201

 

83

Brown Creeper

1

1

   

CW

2

4

 

84

Carolina Wren

4

8

5

5

23

24

69

 

85

Winter Wren

8

7

3

2

10

18

48

 

86

SEDGE WREN        

1

 

1

First since 1961, 8th count record

87

Marsh Wren        

1

 

1

 
  Golden-crowned Kinglet        

CW

 

CW

 

88

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

1

 

1

1

1

2

6

 

89

Hermit Thrush

4

1

4

4

8

7

28

 
  Species Hudson Valley Yonkers West Bronx East Bronx

Rye

Scarsdale

TOTALS

 

90

American Robin

2

2

79

18

68

247

416

 

91

Gray Catbird  

2

3

1

3

6

15

 

92

Northern Mockingbird

13

19

36

9

27

75

179

 

93

Brown Thrasher          

1

1

 

94

Cedar Waxwing    

11

25

 

16

52

 

95

European Starling

405

813

273

370

271

1493

3625

 

96

Yellow-rumped Warbler    

3

     

3

 

97

Common Yellowthroat          

1

1

In Larchmont

98

YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT        

1

 

1

14th count record, 5th in 11 years

99

Northern Cardinal

31

20

44

18

63

141

317

 

100

Eastern Towhee      

1

1

 

2

Lowest since missed in 1952

101

American Tree Sparrow    

20

76

62

16

174

 
  Chipping Sparrow        

CW

 

CW

 

102

Field Sparrow

4

         

4

 

103

Savannah (Ipswich)Sparrow        

1

 

1

Last seen in 1977, 6th count record

104

sharp-tailed sparrow, sp.        

1

 

1

First since 1995

105

Fox Sparrow

2

 

10

12

26

41

91

24 year high

106

Song Sparrow

42

14

45

56

85

96

338

27 year low

107

Swamp Sparrow    

1

2

5

2

10

17 year low

108

White-throated Sparrow

67

138

279

204

228

542

1458

 
  Species Hudson Valley Yonkers West Bronx East Bronx

Rye

Scarsdale

TOTALS

 

109

Dark-eyed (Slate-col.) Junco

95

144

228

25

141

576

1209

 
  Dark-eyed (Pink-sided) Junco    

1

     

1

New to count

110

Red-winged Blackbird    

65

102

10

 

177

 

111

Eastern Meadowlark      

1

   

1

 

112

Rusty Blackbird    

37

     

37

 

113

Common Grackle    

14

2017

16

48

2095

Highest since 1982

114

Brown-headed Cowbird    

30

41

1

 

72

 

115

BALTIMORE ORIOLE    

1

     

1

Last seen in 1984, 7th count record

116

House Finch

105

26

83

99

118

217

648

 

117

COMMON REDPOLL    

3

  CW

5

8

Last seen 1995, 20th count record

118

Pine Siskin        

5

2

7

 

119

American Goldfinch

21

35

50

45

71

173

395

 

120

House Sparrow

111

253

488

171

202

739

1964

 
                   
  Missed Snow Goose, 3rd miss in last 20 years            
  Missed Black-crowned Night Heron - only missed two other times, 1984, 1995    
  Missed Golden-crowned Kinglet, 3rd miss in last 20 years          
  Missed Purple Finch, only for the second time, missed in 1993        
                   
   

Hudson Valley

Yonkers

West Bronx

East Bronx

Rye

Scarsdale

TOTALS

 
  TOTALS

1896

5118

4558

13563

13422

17768

56325

 
  # of Species

42

57

67

75

87

92

120

 
  # of Saves

1

1

3

4

9

10

   
                   
  56,325 Total Birds is the most since 1978              
 


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