A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

The Great Christmas Bird Count

On Sunday, December 27, Wave Hill was happy to welcome three observers for the 92nd Bronx-Westchester Christmas Bird Count (BWCBC), itself part of the National Audubon Society’s more than century-long efforts to census bird numbers nationwide from about mid-December to early January.

The American robin, photographed by Michael Bochnik

The American robin, photographed by Michael Bochnik

From volunteer counter Tom Fiore comes this report on the birds he and his fellow counters observed:

• Mourning dove (4)
• Red-bellied woodpecker (1)
• Downy woodpecker (2)
• Blue jay (6)
• Black-capped chickadee (2)
• White-breasted nuthatch (2)
• American Robin (32)
• Northern mockingbird (3)
• European starling (15)
• Song sparrow (1)
• White-throated sparrow (6)
• Dark-eyed junco (36)
• Northern cardinal (4)
• House sparrow (25)

A white-throated sparrow, photographed by Michael Bochnik

A white-throated sparrow, photographed by Michael Bochnik

Of course, the bird count at Wave Hill was just part of the more widespread count throughout the Bronx, whose coordinator, Michael Bochnik, told us that highlights among the more than 100 species observed in the borough were a snowy owl, great egret, laughing gull, barred owl, saw-whet owl, Nashville warbler and two orange-crowned warblers. Hundreds of snow geese, double-crested cormorants and fish crows were in evidence, but the numbers were very low for the mute swan, canvasback, ruddy duck, horned grebe, sharp-shinned hawk, Carolina wren and hermit thrush, with possibly an all-time low for the American tree sparrow. He added that Wave Hill has the historic distinction of being the only place where a dark-eyed (pink-sided) junco has been seen in almost a century.

A favorite of birders, Wave Hill offers a free, monthly bird walk throughout the year, led by naturalist Gabriel Willow. And if you have been following his posts on Wave Hill’s blog, you already know that the gardens provide an excellent vantage point for observing the local—and migrating—bird population. IJW WH 051015 BT Green 2 (003)The charmer shown here is a black-throated warbler, photographed by Jim Wright on a bird walk last spring. The next bird walk here at Wave Hill takes place on Sunday morning, January 10!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>