The 120th CBC in Missouri

With addition of a new count at Johnson Shutins State Park, Missouri hosted 29 Christmas Bird Counts this past season, the highest number ever. A total of 599 field participants found 155 species, two more than the previous high of 153 (3 different years). Snow cover (~4 in) was reported on only three counts and totally frozen still water on only two counts. At least one count was postponed a week from the opening weekend because of inclement weather. On four counts there was no or poor access to areas usually covered because of summer flooding. One team of birders was chased away by local landowners who suspected them of being responsible for recent burglaries. 

Three species were found that have not been reported previously on Missouri CBCs: one Great Black-backed Gull (Confluence), one Summer Tanager (Kansas City), and one Lazuli Bunting (Trimble). Other good sightings were one Anna's Hummingbird and two unidentified Selasphorus hummingbird (most like Rufous), at Columbia and Springfield, one Long-billed Dowitcher (Big Oak Tree), and one Clay-colored Sparrow (Confluence).

Species that occurred in significantly lower numbers than usual (compared to mean of the last 20 years) include Canada Goose (0.47× times mean), Mallard (0.43×), American Black Duck (0.15×), Lesser Scaup (0.45×), Northern Bobwhite (0.11×), Ring-necked Pheasant (0.04×), Wilson’s Snipe (0.11×), Northern Harrier (0.48×), Rough-legged Hawk (0.43×), Eastern Screech-Owl (0.38×), Short-eared Owl (0.22×), Red-breasted Nuthatch (0.16×), European Starling (0.34×), Purple Finch (0.08×), American Tree Sparrow (0.34×), and Harris’s Sparrow (0.43×).

Species occurring in significantly greater numbers than usual include Trumpeter Swan (4.2×), Gadwall (2.4×), Ruddy Duck (2.7×), Sandhill Crane (3.2×), American White Pelican (5.4×), American Pipit (3.8×), Chipping Sparrow (2.2×), LeConte’s Sparrow (3.6×), and Savannah Sparrow (2.6×). Species not seen this year include Blue-winged Teal, Greater Roadrunner, Golden Eagle, and Gray Catbird.

Nine counts found 90 or more species, with Horton-Four Rivers taking the lead at 109.

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