Crookston Christmas Bird Count 2021 ties all-time record

Times Report
Crookston Times

The 50th annual Crookston Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, December 18 and the event totals tied the all-time record. The Christmas Bird Count is coordinated by the National Audubon Society and the Minnesota Ornithologist Union, and volunteers counted birds in a designated 15-mile diameter circle southeast of Crookston and in the community.

"Thanks to the 13 individuals who braved the cold or watched their bird feeders," said John Loegering.

Field observers and feeder watchers recorded 36 different bird species, tying the record set in 2019 and 1,216 individual birds were observed December 18, 2021. The high for that day was only nine degrees above zero and the six teams that went out in to the rural sections of the count circle in the morning were greeted with light snow.

"It’s not easy spotting birds in the rural area," Loegering explained. "One team only found 2 species representing 18 individual birds in the 4 hours they were out. Again, the number of people feeding birds through the winter has drastically declined over the years. To emphasize the importance of winter feeding of birds, this year’s count can attribute at least 17 species that were recorded at a handful of active feeders!"

The complete list of species recorded in 2021 included: Gray Partridge, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Greater Prairie-Chicken, Wild Turkey, Bald Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Great Horned Owl, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Shrike, Blue Jay, Black-billed Magpie, American Crow, Common Raven, Horned Lark, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, American Robin, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Purple Finch, Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, and House Sparrow.

"Thanks to this year’s participants Phil Baird of Fisher, Jeff Bell of East Grand Forks, Jason, Logan, and Sawyer Ekstein of Erskine, Emily Hutchins of Mentor, Gladwin Lynne of Warren, Ryan Mandelbaum of Brooklyn, New York; Leon Thoreson of Climax, and, from Crookston, Mike Christopherson, John and Lisa Loegering, and Dan Svedarsky," Loegering added.

Volunteers interested in participating in the 2022 count should contact John Loegering at jloegeri@crk.umn.edu.

This great-horned owl has visited Sunset Avenue in Crookston and first showed up late in the fall and into the winter of 2019-20.