The cold weather on our planned count day of December 24 resulted in the count being postponed to December 31.  While the higher temperatures were appreciated by our volunteers, the significantly warmer day brought in a fog that really put a damper on any soaring birds.  Visibility was terrible for the front half of the day.  The weather may have reflected the low observation totals as we came in with only 16,130 observations, which is the lowest total since 2009.  Our average total is 22,604 birds. The number of volunteers was slightly below our average and the number of parties slightly above average.

Our species total was 79 with 76 being our average.  Waterfowl in general seemed down, which may have been due to the mild winter (with the exception of 12/23-12/24) and the birds remaining north of us for the count.  Soaring birds were generally well below their averages because of the poor conditions.


  • 37 Hooded Mergansers, which is the 3rd highest for count. Hooded Mergansers over the last few years have started nesting in our area.
  • 10 Bald Eagles was a great count for a foggy day.  Our average is 3.
  • 12 Red-shouldered Hawks, which is the highest total ever for the count. Our casual observations this year seemed to show a significant increase in Red-shouldered Hawks in our area in general.
  • 5 Merlins was the highest total ever recorded for the count.   Our average is 1.
  • 33 Belted Kingfishers is tied for the 2nd highest since 1998. Our Average is 23.
  • 79 Hairy Woodpeckers, the highest total for the count. Our average is 31.
  • 13 Pileated Woodpeckers (Average is 5).   Both Hairy and Pileated Woodpeckers may be increasing with Emerald Ash Borer infestations.
  • 34 Brown Creepers was the highest total since 2013. Our average is 24.
  • 288 Carolina wrens. Our average is 159.
  • Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets switched their usual placement.  In most instances our count of Golden-crowned Kinglets is higher than Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  For 2022 we had 25 Ruby-crowned (Average is 8) and 18 Golden-crowned (Average is 33).  This might reflect warmer winters and we will see if a trend for Ruby-crowned Kinglets shows more wintering birds in our area.
  • 20 Fish Crows (Average is 3) was the highest total since 2014.


  • No Black Vultures (Average is 65) and only 16 Turkey Vultures (Average is 104). This represents the less than ideal weather for any soaring birds.
  • 2 Snow Geese, well below our average of 269.
  • 135 Mallards, well below our average of 490.  This is the 2nd lowest ever for the count, the lowest taking place in 1999 with 73 birds.
  • 36 Red-tailed Hawks, well below our average of 77 birds.
  • 1 American Kestrel.  Our average is 14.
  • 164 Rock Doves (Average 605) was the 2nd lowest for the count.  Mourning Doves at 351 (Average 700) was the lowest since 2010.
  • 155 American Crows were way down from our average of 1025.
  • Although both Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmouse showed positive trends from the 2018 population crash, we were still below average for both species.   We had 130 Carolina Chickadees (Average 393) and 136 Tufted Titmouse (Average 235).
  • No Hermit Thrush, the first zero since 2010. Our average is 4.
  • 28 Northern mockingbirds. Our average is 89. 2008 was the last year we were close to average with this species.
  • 38 Red-winged Blackbirds, which is the lowest total since 2007. Our Average is 303.
  • 5 Common Grackles. Our average is 294.

Notable sightings

1 Palm Warbler and 1 Eastern Phoebe

You can see the complete list here.

Mark your calendars.  Our Spring Bird Count is Saturday, June 3, 2023.  Beginning birders are welcome to participate and will be assigned to a team with experienced members.