Alachua Audubon Society

A chapter of the National Audubon Society

Gainesville CBC 2017

by Rex Rowan

GAINESVILLE’S 60TH CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT took place on Sunday, December 17th. Between 4:08 a.m. and 6:02 p.m., 123 participants (divided into 11 teams) spent 294 total hours searching for birds, covering 385 miles by foot, car, and boat within a 15-mile-diameter circle centered on Paynes Prairie. (Some of them also found time to take pictures, as you can see below.) It was a beautiful day, if a mite too warm in the afternoon, but the birds were not as cooperative as the weather. We missed a number of species that we’ve found on most Counts over the past ten years, such as Redhead, Common Goldeneye, Horned Grebe, White-winged Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Vermilion Flycatcher, Fox Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Rusty Blackbird. A few other rarities partially made up for these: Red-breasted Merganser, Vaux’s Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Least Bittern, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Tanager, and Indigo Bunting. Ultimately, we recorded 157 species and 58,513 individual birds. Our results fell well short of last year’s record count of 166 species, but it was still good enough to be our 6th highest Count ever. The ten most common species, in descending order, were: Red-winged Blackbird, Sandhill Crane, American Coot, Tree Swallow, American Robin, Ring-necked Duck, White Ibis, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Boat-tailed Grackle, and Palm Warbler. Here’s the complete list:

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 662
Snow Goose 1
Muscovy Duck 252
Wood Duck 562
Gadwall 120
American Wigeon 33
Mallard 2
Mottled Duck 109
Blue-winged Teal 1,014
Northern Shoveler 106
Northern Pintail 9
Green-winged Teal 163
Ring-necked Duck 1,811
Lesser Scaup 24
Bufflehead 25
Hooded Merganser 203
Red-breasted Merganser 3
Ruddy Duck 3
Northern Bobwhite 16
Wild Turkey 6
Pied-billed Grebe 126
Rock Pigeon 59
Eurasian Collared-Dove 9
Mourning Dove 473
Eastern Whip-poor-will 1
Vaux’s Swift 4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
King Rail 5
Virginia Rail 3
Sora 54
Common Gallinule 991
Purple Gallinule 1
American Coot 5,138
Limpkin 235
Sandhill Crane 6,012
Killdeeer 244
Least Sandpiper 42
Long-billed Dowitcher 3
American Woodcock 1
Wilson’s Snipe 288
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Greater Yellowlegs 89
Lesser Yellowlegs 11
Bonaparte’s Gull 6
Laughing Gull 9
Ring-billed Gull 310
Herring Gull 5
Forster’s Tern 12
Common Loon 8
Wood Stork 44
Double-crested Cormorant 679
Anhinga 316
American White Pelican 7
American Bittern 26
Least Bittern 4
Great Blue Heron 186
Great Egret 375
Snowy Egret 197
Little Blue Heron 316
Tricolored Heron 77
Cattle Egret 65
Green Heron 35
Black-crowned Night-Heron 132
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 1
White Ibis 1,805
Glossy Ibis 355
Roseate Spoonbill 2
Black Vulture 477
Turkey Vulture 912
Osprey 7
Bald Eagle 79
Northern Harrier 32
Sharp-shinned Hawk 5
Cooper’s Hawk 11
Accipiter, sp. (Sharp-shinned or Cooper’s, not identifiable) 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 197
Red-tailed Hawk 47
Barn Owl 1
Eastern Screech-Owl 13
Great Horned Owl 40
Barred Owl 63
Belted Kingfisher 83
Red-headed Woodpecker 6
Red-bellied Woodpecker 384
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 87
Downy Woodpecker 174
Northern Flicker 94
Pileated Woodpecker 173
American Kestrel 58
Merlin 4
Eastern Phoebe 591
Ash-throated Flycatcher 1
Loggerhead Shrike 28
White-eyed Vireo 117
Blue-headed Vireo 131
Blue Jay 282
American Crow 813
Fish Crow 136
crow, sp. (American or Fish, not identifiable) 36
Tree Swallow 3,204
Carolina Chickadee 379
Tufted Titmouse 423
Brown-headed Nuthatch 8
Brown Creeper 1
House Wren 282
Sedge Wren 37
Marsh Wren 36
Carolina Wren 453
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 858
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 934
Eastern Bluebird 257
Hermit Thrush 79
American Robin 3,088
Gray Catbird 150
Brown Thrasher 17
Northern Mockingbird 147
European Starling 23
Cedar Waxwing 261
House Sparrow 18
American Pipit 2
House Finch 74
American Goldfinch 333
Ovenbird 11
Northern Waterthrush 4
Black-and-white Warbler 138
Orange-crowned Warbler 96
Common Yellowthroat 204
American Redstart 4
Northern Parula 3
Palm Warbler 1,157
Pine Warbler 286
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1,532
Yellow-throated Warbler 55
Prairie Warbler 6
Wilson’s Warbler 2
Yellow-breasted Chat 1
Eastern Towhee 87
Field Sparrow 3
Chipping Sparrow 712
Vesper Sparrow 40
Savannah Sparrow 224
Grasshopper Sparrow 5
Henslow’s Sparrow 10
Song Sparrow 40
Swamp Sparrow 257
White-throated Sparrow 5
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Summer Tanager 3
Western Tanager 1
Northern Cardinal 642
Indigo Bunting 4
Painted Bunting 15
Red-winged Blackbird 9,922
Eastern Meadowlark 174
Common Grackle 691
Boat-tailed Grackle 1,502
Brown-headed Cowbird 592
Baltimore Oriole 49

Thanks to our co-compilers Andy Kratter and Bob Carroll, and to all of our team leaders!

Last Updated July 10th, 2021, Tim Hardin