Sunday, June 9, 2019

Breeding Bird Survey route completed for another year

Bobolink, Monson, MA, Jun 9, 2019
Wood Duck walking through a freshly plowed field (nowhere near any water), Monson, MA, Jun 9, 2019
Common Ravens, Palmer, MA, Jun 9, 2019
I completed my annual Breeding Bird Survey route today under perfect conditions with sunny skies, low humidity, no breeze and temperatures starting off in the high 40's and topping off near 60 by the end of the route.  The route starts in Belchertown and continues south to the Connecticut line with three minute stops every half mile.  This is now my ninth year conducting the survey and this one turned out to have the highest diversity yet with a total of 83 species with 1273 individuals (more details on previous years at the bottom of the post).

The ten most abundant species are listed in the table below (% of sightings for all stops)

Red eyed Vireo                           80%
American Robin                         72%
Chipping Sparrow                      70%
Northern Cardinal                      60%
Gray Catbird                              56%
Ovenbird                                    50%
Common Yellowthroat               46%
Mourning Dove                          46%
American Redstart                     42%
House Wren                               40%

Among the 83 species were a number notable sightings including Fish Crows, an Osprey, a Red shouldered Hawk, multiple Black billed and Yellow billed Cuckoos, Willow Flycatchers and 13 species of warbler including a late Blackpoll Warbler, a Nashville Warbler and two Canada Warblers.  Of those mentioned above five are new for the least as long as I have been conducting it (the five new species are Blackpoll Warbler, Osprey, Fish Crow, Nashville Warbler and Willow Flycatcher).  I have now seen a total of 105 species while conducting the route since taking it over in 2010.  Total number of species seen for each year I have conducted the survey below:

year                 # of species
2010                 71
2011                 64
2012                 56
2013                 67
2014                 70
2015                 75
2016                 78
2017                 73
2018                 71
2019                 83

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