The 33 circles our people counted this year are the same set as last year.  The total number of species statewide was 237, not including one exotic, the continuing Trumpeter Swans in the Farmington circle.  This is a goodly increase over last year's 224, but short of the 106th's all-time record of 244.

Two species were added to the cumulative state CBC checklist, bringing it to 334.  The Avalon-Brantley team described a kingbird that was clearly either Couch's or Tropical, but these forms are not separable except by call, which was not heard.  Jerry Oldenettel gets credit for first predicting and then finding a Common Crane in the Roswell area, a bird seen (and also missed) by many.

Leading the ranking of circles by number of species was Caballo with 129.  Other notable counts were 122 in Albuquerque, 116 in Las Cruces, 111 in the Peloncillo Mountains, 109 for Bosque del Apache, 107 for the Valle de Oro in only their second year, 105 at Ladder Ranch, and 104 for Lakes Avalon-Brantley.

Numbers of individuals were highest in the Bosque circle with about 100,000; Roswell's total was close to 80,000; and significant numbers were in the Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Valle de Oro circles.

Looking for patterns in this mass of data, and considering the warming trend over recent years, we find two records of birds that stayed past migration in the north of the state: a Burrowing Owl in the Clayton circle and a Black Phoebe in Las Vegas.  A more southerly lingerer was a House Wren in the Bosque del Apache circle.

The only obvious distributional winner this year was McCown's Longspur, which showed up in six circles all over the state.  Red-breasted Nuthatch and Evening Grosbeak numbers were somewhat elevated in lower elevations.

In addition to the Common Crane and kingbird new to the all-time checklist, there were some other interesting rarities.  The White-winged Scoter in the revenant Bluewater circle is the third for that circle, treating it together with the historical Thoreau circle run in the 79th-82nd CBCs.  The well-photographed Pacific Loon in the Ruidoso circle would be rather a surprise anywhere in the state.  Albuquerque counters found a Common Loon, a Thayer's Gull documented in eBird, and two Pacific Wrens, a new species for that circle.  A Black-and-white Warbler in the Gila River circle was the only persisting warbler out of the ordinary.  The Caballo crew documented a Purple Finch with good photographs.


“The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.”

Stay abreast of Audubon

Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives.