The 116th CBC in Missouri

Missouri hosted 25 Christmas Bird Counts this past season, two less than in recent years. The Confluence count, scheduled for January 1, was cancelled on account of record flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Compilers of four other counts noted that some roads and areas were inaccessible as a result of December flooding (Clarence Cannon, Dent-Texas County, Swan Lake,Taney County). Road and bridge closures from summer flooding impeded the Trimble count. Horton-Four Rivers and Squaw Creek were hampered by strong winds. Neither snow nor rain were significant problems for any count and only at Grand River reported still water completely frozen. Nevertheless, 150 bird species were tallied, 4.5 more than the 16-year mean. There was a total 504 field observers.

Several species were observed on only one count: four Tundra Swans (Squaw Creek), one Blue-winged Teal (Trimble), one Surf Scoter (Kansas City), three Eared Grebes (Trimble), one Green Heron (Trimble), two Northern Goshawks (Columbia), three Virginia Rails (Columbia), two Soras (Columbia), one Greater Yellowlegs (Horton-Four Rivers ), four Least Sandpipers (Columbia), two Franklin’s Gulls (Maryville), one Lesser Black-backed Gull (Kansas City), two Inca Doves (Horton-Four Rivers), one Snowy Owl (Maryville), one Long-eared Owl (Trimble), one Anna’s Hummingbird (Springfield), two Northern Shrikes (Grand River), two Red-breasted Nuthatch (Knob Noster), two Sedge Wrens (Liberal), one Gray Catbird (Weldon Springs), three Pine Warblers (Mingo), and one Indigo Bunting (Big Oak Tree). Eight species were seen on only two: Wood Duck, Greater Scaup, Osprey, Sandhill Crane (30 at Squaw Creek), Fish Crow, Common Yellowthroat, Le Conte’s Sparrow, and Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Three counts had Marsh Wren, Columbia (1), Liberal (1), and Squaw Creek (5), and three counts had one each Barn Owl (Big Oak Tree, Horton-Four Rivers, and Trimble). Black Vultures were found on six counts as far north as Weldon Spring.

Species reported in less than half the average abundance include American Black Duck (0.21´ the average), Blue-winged Teal (0.12´, one bird at Weldon Springs), Ring-necked Pheasant (0.11´), Wilson’s Snipe (0.39´), Eastern Screech-Owl (0.48´), Red-breasted Nuthatch (0.06´), European Starling (0.37´), Cedar Waxwing (0.28´), Le Conte’s Sparrow (0.23´), and Eurasian Tree Sparrow (0.18´). Some of the lows, most notably Common Merganser, Bald Eagle, Herring Gull, and Eurasian Tree Sparrow are simply an artifact of cancellation of the Confluence count. Regular species not seen on any count this year in Missouri include Red-breasted Merganser, Peregrine Falcon, and Spotted Towhee.

Species reported in greater than two times the average abundance include Greater White-fronted Goose (2.1´ the average), Snow Goose (2.0´) Trumpeter Swan (2.3´, observed on six counts), Gadwall (3.3´), Northern Shoveler (2.5´), Northern Pintail (2.9´), Redhead (2.9), Ring-necked Duck (2.5´), Hooded Merganser (2.0´), Ruddy Duck (3.7´), Turkey Vulture (2.3´), American Coot (2.4´), Killdeer (3.0´), Merlin (2.1´), Chipping Sparrow (3.3´), and Savannah Sparrow (2.5´).

Five counts found 90 or more species, with Horton-Four Rivers taking the lead at 102 and Columbia not far behind at 101.

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