Some usual birds not spotted this year; Northern Cardinal proves to be elusive on day of the count

    The 46th Annual Crookston Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, Dec. 16. A crew of 12 individuals from around the area gathered to take part in the annual count of winter birds in and around Crookston.  

    Their efforts resulted in a tally of 29 different species and 1,431 individuals.  The list of species included: Gray Partridge, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Greater Prairie Chicken, Wild Turkey, Rough-legged Hawk, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Snowy Owl, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Merlin, Blue Jay, Black-billed Magpie, American Crow, Common Raven, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, European Starling, Dark-eyed Junco, House Finch, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, and House Sparrow.  Absent this year on count day were usual species like Bald Eagle, Snow Bunting, Lapland Longspur, Great Horned Owl.  

    Volunteer spotters were made aware that Cardinals have been spotted at a feeder in town but not there on Saturday at the times we checked.
Participants who watched feeders in their yards were: Jerry and Heidi Fenno, and Kim Feiro of Crookston, as well as Dan Svedarsky, Betty and Myles Chapman, all of rural Crookston.  

    Participants who drove and walked around the designated 15-mile diameter circle were: Jeff Bell from East Grand Forks; Phil Baird from Fisher; Leon and Donna Thoreson from Climax; Emily Hutchins from Mentor; and Kim and Tom Feiro from Crookston.

    Each year, Tom Feiro, with the U of M Crookston Natural Resources program, serves as the Christmas Bird Count’s volunteer compiler.