Friday, November 28, 2008

Interesting CBC Stats

As I'm prepping to compile the 74th Long Branch Christmas Bird Count, I'm finding some interesting stats about this count:

- A total of 204 species have been recorded during the first 73 counts.

- Fourteen species have been recorded every year: American Black Duck, Mallard, American Kestrel, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, European Starling, and, of course, House Sparrow.

- The most numerous species each year are typically Canada Goose, Herring Gull, European Starling, Red-winged Blackbird, and Common Grackle.

- The highest count of one species ever was 200,011 Common Grackles in 1954. They were called Purple Grackles back then. The second highest was 106,600 Common Grackles in 1958. The third highest was 29,339 Herring Gulls in 1996.

- House Finch was first recorded 46 years ago and has been found on every count since.

- In 2007, two new species for the count were found: Cackling Goose and Western Kingbird.

- Ruffed Grouse, a bird I've never seen in NJ, was recorded 11 times. The last time was 1984. It's become a tough bird to find in NJ due to habitat loss and deer browsing.

That's all I've got for now. It's been fun looking through the history of this count.


Rick said...

Wonder how long House Sparrow will keep it up.
In what year did the biomass of Canada Geese first exceed that of the CBC participants?
One of these days I'll come out and do that count with you!

Patrick Belardo said...

With the amount of urban habitat in the circle (the city of Long Branch for one), I'm sure the HOSPs can keep it up for a while.

I'm sure there are areas where the biomass of the geese outnumber the biomass of all people in some of these more rural areas.

As for the trends, the early CAGO counts are a bit all over the place with only 1 being seen in some early years and then random years of 25, 37, 85, etc. in the first 25 years. 1966 = 230, 1967=1000 then back to 200's for several years. CAGOs consistently broke 1000 starting 30 years ago and jumped into high 4 digits and low 5 digits in the last 15 years.

We'd love to have ya join us anytime.

Larry said...

It is fun to look back on old data. It would be fun to travel back in time to do an old count and compare the species to now.

Patrick Belardo said...

I have a shirt from the World Series of Birding from a few years back. It has drawings of 10 or so birds and the # seen on 10 big days from the 1930s and 20 big days since the mid-80s. For example, it shows Upland Sandpiper seen on 10 out of 10 big days in the 30's and 2 out of 20 in the recent years. House Finches = 0 in the 30's and every year in recent years. It's interesting seeing the changes.