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Ruby-crowned Kinglets had their lowest

total in 10 years with 1831; the 10-year


average for that species is 2786. The
Gray Catbird total was 219, the second
highest count ever. The count of
American Pipits was 1973, a new high
by 270, led by the 1010 counted inland
at Dublin. Last years high pipit count
was led by coastal numbers. The second
highest CBC totals were posted by
Cedar Waxwings with 7799, and
Orange-crowned Warblers with 76.
Thirty-eight Yellow-throated Warblers
was the fourth highest count, and the 88
Black-and-white Warblers was a new
high total.
Savannah Sparrows had their second
highest total with 3133, the highest
count being 1526 at Cumberland
Island. The third highest count ever for
Swamp Sparrows was 1445, and Whitecrowned Sparrows posted their best
count ever with 181, topping the old
record by 62. Carters Lake led the way
with 56. A count week Rose-breasted
Grosbeak at St. Catherines was only the
second CBC record in the state.
Baltimore Orioles continue to winter in
larger numbers, or to be found in larger
numbers, with a count of 36, a new
high by 14. Savannah had the most
with a whopping 25. Purple Finches
had their highest count since the 91st
CBC with 338.
FLORIDA
Bill Pranty
8515 Village Mill Row
Bayonet Point, FL 34667
billpranty@hotmail.com

A record-tying 68 CBCs were run in


Florida this season. Counts at Jackson
County and Lower Keys were skipped,
but a count debuted at Choctawhatchee
River in the central Panhandle. These
CBCs accounted for 8691 accepted
observations of 343 taxonomic forms
and 2,861,093 individuals. The forms
comprise 286 native species, the reintroduced Whooping Crane, 13 of Floridas
14 countable exotics (I consider the
Purple Swamphen to be established
now, and White-winged Parakeet was
64

AMERICAN BIRDS

overlooked for the third consecutive season),


22 known or presumed non-countable
exotics, three morphs, two intergrades,
one hybrid, and 15 species-groups.
Fourteen CBCs, including two inland
(*), exceeded 149 species: West Pasco
(170), St. Petersburg (167), *ZellwoodMount Dora (161), North Pinellas
(159), Sarasota (159), South Brevard
(159), Alafia Banks (157), AripekaBayport (156), *Gainesville (156),
Cocoa (155), Jacksonville (155), Merritt
Island N.W.R. (155), Ten Thousand
Islands (151), and St. Augustine (150).
Ten CBCs, four of these inland (*), tallied more than 50,000 individuals:
Sarasota (633,476, with 600,000 Tree
Swallows), Venice-Englewood (521,664,
with 500,000 Tree Swallows), *Lakeland
(87,367), Merritt Island N.W.R.
(77,658), Cocoa (65,731), *EmeraldaSunnyhill (61,848), Coot Bay-Everglades
N.P. (57,753), *Gainesville (57,691),
West Pasco (54,635), and *ZellwoodMount Dora (51,240). Eight species
(Great Blue Heron, Killdeer, Mourning
Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Gray Catbird,
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler,
and Common Yellowthroat) were
reported on all 68 counts. In contrast,
37 other native species were seen on
only one CBC each, with 29 of these
representing single individuals. The 10
species that exceeded 50,000 individuals
were Tree Swallow (1,205,611),
American Coot (238,110), American
Robin (110,160), Laughing Gull
(86,393), Yellow-rumped Warbler
(69,690), Fish Crow (66,976), Ringbilled Gull (61,214), Lesser Scaup
(60,081), Red-winged Blackbird (58,913),
and Double-crested Cormorant (50,394).
This summary excludes undocumented rarities or questionable numbers.
Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks numbered 4210 on 25 counts, while 771
Fulvous Whistling-Ducks were reported
on four. Large forms of Canada Geese,
mostly feral, numbered 831 on 15
counts. Gainesville furnished the states
sole Rosss Goose. There were 3615
Muscovy Ducks on 46 counts and 4710
mostly feral Mallards on 51. A huge

total of 716 hybrid Mallard x Mottled


Ducks came from seven CBCs, including 470 at St. Petersburg and 158 at
Aripeka-Bayport. State and federal biologists seem indifferent to the plight of
the Eastern Mottled Duck, which, if
CBC data are accurate, appears headed
for extirpation unless drastic action is
soon undertaken. Two White-cheeked
Pintails of doubtful provenance were
photographed at Dade County. It was
an excellent season for bay ducks.
Buffleheads were especially numerous,
with 3348 on 33 counts, and triple-digit
totals from 9 of these. Wild Turkeys
were nearly 11 times more numerous
than the rapidly declining Northern
Bobwhite: 1513 on 37 counts versus
138 on 15.
Common Loons numbered 1702 on
41 counts, led by 475 at Choctawhatchee
Bay. The sole Eared Grebe was at Bay
County. A great surprise was the Sooty
Shearwater photographed at Sarasota.
Dry Tortugas N.P. again tallied the only
Masked Boobies (65) and Brown
Boobies (181). There were 11,097
American White Pelicans on 38 counts,
and 20,491 Brown Pelicans on 47,
including 62 inland at Lakeland.
Among Floridas 116,315 wading birds
were 241 Great White Herons, 204
Reddish Egrets, 48,202 White Ibises,
997 Roseate Spoonbills, and 4345
Wood Storks. A White-faced Ibis at
West Pasco provided a county first.
Participants noted 4005 Ospreys on
65 CBCs and 1456 Bald Eagles on 63.
The only kites reported were 90 Snail
Kites on five counts. As recently as the
102nd CBC, Sharp-shinned Hawks
were the more numerous accipiter in
Florida, but no more. This season, numbers of Coopers Hawks were more than
twice that of Sharp-shinneds: 367 on 64
counts versus 159 on 50. There were 47
Short-tailed Hawks on 15 counts (not
all documented), with one dark morph
shockingly north to Choctawhatchee
River. Casual in Florida, a light-morph
Rough-legged Hawk was adequately
detailed at Emeralda-Sunnyhill. Single
Golden Eagles graced Jacksonville and

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus), Alafia Banks, Florida. Photo/Bill Pranty

Melrose. Crested Caracaras totaled 67 on


13 CBCs, with 17 at STA5-Clewiston
and 13 at Lake Placid. Statewide falcon
totals were 2563 American Kestrels on
67 counts, 74 Peregrine Falcons on 33,
and 63 Merlins also on 33.
Single Black Rails enlivened Cocoa
and West Pasco. STA5-Clewiston furnished 75 Purple Swamphens.
Emeralda-Sunnyhill and Lakeland tallied 50 Purple Gallinules each, with 49
on 12 other counts. Populations of
Limpkins appear to be exploding in
response to the introduction of
Channeled Apple Snails from South
America. This season, 784 Limpkins
were totaled on 39 CBCs, among these

Count circles in
FLORIDA

THE

111TH CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT

100 at West Palm Beach, 90 at STA5Clewiston, 87 at Lakeland, 77 at Tampa,


and 75 at Sarasota. Nearly 17,000
Sandhill Cranes were tallied, with 5600
at Gainesville and 2000 each at Lake
Placid and Melrose. Snowy Plovers
numbered 89 on eight counts, while 58
Piping Plovers were found on nine.
Continuing their precipitous decline,
there were only 480 Red Knots on 14
counts. Key Largo-Plantation Key produced eight Semipalmated Sandpipers
(supported by perhaps the best documentation form I have ever seen), with
three others at Coot Bay-Everglades N.P.
Eleven species of gulls were found this
season. Highlights were Floridas first

Kelp Gull (pending approval of the


Florida Ornithological Society Records
Committee) discovered on the West
Pasco CBC, Franklins Gull at
Choctawhatchee Bay, Thayers Gull at
Cocoa, and Black-legged Kittiwake at
Merritt Island N.W.R. Black-backed gull
tallies were 491 Lessers on 17 counts and
323 Greats on 16. Five Common Terns
were accepted, duos at Cocoa and Tampa
and one at Apalachicola Bay-St. Vincent
N.W.R. There were 9263 Black
Skimmers on 38 counts, with 1200 at St.
Augustine and birds inland on four counts.
Eurasian Collared-Doves numbered
9060 on 62 counts, while White-winged
Doves increased to 954 on 40. Sixteen
species of psittacids were tallied, led by
10 at Dade County. Twenty Budgerigars
persisted at Aripeka-Bayport. Monk
Parakeets numbered (only) 1051 on 19
counts, while Black-hooded Parakeets
totaled 482 on 12. The only other
psittacids exceeding 99 individuals were
319 Mitred Parakeets, mostly at Kendall
Area, and 102 White-eyed Parakeets, all
at Dade County. A surprising 40 Blueand-yellow Macaws were found at Dade
County (12) and Kendall Area (28).
Fort Myers accounted for 88 percent of
the states 231 Burrowing Owls. Lesser
Nighthawks were at Coot BayEverglades N.P. and Kendall Area.
Floridas 180 hummingbirds were divided into 131 Ruby-throated, 11 Rufous,
four Black-chinned, one Allens, one
Buff-bellied, and 32 not identified
specifically. Impressive counts of Redheaded Woodpeckers were 89 at
Ichetucknee-Santa Fe-OLeno and 55 at
Melrose. Totals of rare picoides were 34
Red-cockaded Woodpeckers on six counts
and 33 Hairy Woodpeckers on 16.
Ash-throated Flycatchers were found
at Gainesville, Ichetucknee-Santa FeOLeno, and Zellwood-Mount Dora,
with Brown-crested Flycatchers at Long
Pine Key and (count week) West Palm
Beach. One Cassins Kingbird returned
to STA5-Clewiston. Scissor-tailed
Flycatchers and Western Kingbirds each
numbered 23 individuals on seven
CBCs. Loggerhead Shrikes totaled 1803
AMERICAN BIRDS

65

on 63 CBCs, with 157 at Peace River,


150 at Fort Myers, and 137 at Corkscrew
Swamp Sanctuary. A Bells Vireo graced
Kendall Area, and a well-described
Yellow-throated Vireo was north to
Emeralda-Sunnyhill. Florida Scrub-Jays
totaled 383 on 20 counts. One of three
Barn Swallows at Long Pine Key was
photographed, providing a very rare winter record. Two Red-breasted Nuthatches
were south to Cedar Key. Tallahassee
again provided all White-breasted
Nuthatches (8). Twenty-plus counts of
Golden-crowned Kinglets came from St.
Marks (25) and Choctawhatchee River
(23). There were 67 Common Mynas on
four CBCs, and only two Hill Mynas at
Kendall Area. Apalachicola Bay-St. Vincent
N.W.R. again furnished all (3) Spragues
Pipits. Cedar Waxwings numbered 3234
on 35 CBCs, with 650 at Gainesville.
Twenty-two warbler species were
accepted, with unique reports of
Nashville at Long Pine Key, Wormeating at Kendall Area, and Louisiana
Waterthrush at Dade County. A male
Hooded Warbler photographed at St.
Petersburg provided perhaps only the
second winter record in Florida. As
always, the two most numerous warblers
were Yellow-rumped (69,690) and Palm
(19,938), both found on all 68 counts.
Ten Summer Tanagers were found on
nine CBCs, plus count week on two
others. The most abundant sparrows
were Chipping (7609 on 52 counts),
Savannah (4632 on 63), and Swamp
(3299 on 55). Lark Sparrows were documented at Flagler, Lake Wales, St.
Petersburg, and West Palm Beach. A
Henslows Sparrow was south to Avon
Park A.F. Range. Aripeka-Bayport furnished all four Le Contes Sparrows.
Sharp-tailed sparrow tallies were 93
Nelsons on 12 counts, six Saltmarsh on
three (including one photographed at
Bradenton), and one not identified.
Although not detailed, a Snow Bunting
at Flagler was presumably the tailless
wonder enjoyed by dozens of birders
throughout December.
Amazingly, a female Blue Grosbeak
and a male Lazuli Bunting were pho66

AMERICAN BIRDS

tographed at feeders at Econlockhatchee.


There were 494 Painted Buntings on 37
counts, including 104 at Cocoa. It was
a good winter for Rusty Blackbirds,
with 421 on five counts, including 275
at Choctawhatchee River and 120 at
Gainesville. Choctawhatchee River also
furnished 600 Brewers Blackbirds, with
10 others at Pensacola. Four euphagus
species were far south to Fakahatchee.
Kendall Area again furnished the sole
Shiny Cowbird (count week). Dade
County reported 107 Bronzed Cowbirds,
with two others at Lakeland. An adult
male Orchard Oriole was photographed
at Aripeka-Bayport. Spot-breasted
Orioles numbered five at Dade County
and two at West Palm Beach. Adequate
details were provided for six Purple
Finches at Ichetucknee-Santa Fe-OLeno.
House Finches totaled 967 individuals on
38 CBCs, while House Sparrows numbered 2858 on 50.
Bruce H. Anderson again reviewed
nearly all the 180 or so documentation
forms, a major task. I deleted 27 reports
(0.35 percent of all observations) that
were misidentified or submitted with
insufficient or no documentation, and I
appended 50 other reports with the DD
(Details Desired) or QN (Questionable
Number) editorial codes. Florida CBCs
are cleaner with respect to some
species (formerly perennial problems
such as Least Tern, Eastern WoodPewee, and Eastern Kingbird are almost
never reported now), but there remains
room for improvement. Northern
Rough-winged Swallows, Yellow-throated Vireos, and count week rarities are
now the most troublesome species. My
letter of instruction to compilers is posted to
the website of the Florida Ornithological
Society (http://fosbirds.org).
OHIO/WEST VIRGINIA/KENTUCKY
Charles W. Hocevar
301 Central Avenue, A114
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
chocevar@aol.com

Ohio compilers organized 60


Christmas Bird Counts in the state this
season. That effort included the place-

ment of 1534 field observers to cover


their respective areas on count day.
Cuyahoga Falls was responsible for 102
counters, while Ragersville and
Cincinnati each added more than 90
each. There were, however, 14 Ohio
CBCs that made this endeavor with
fewer than 10 people in the field. The
brave compiler at Mt. Gilead had only
one companion.
The results of this effort included a
monumental estimated effort of 3780
hours in the field on count day. The
combined tally provided a wealth of
noteworthy observations, including
Greater White-fronted Geese at
Ashtabula and Wooster and Cackling
Geese on four Ohio counts (plus an
additional two of the latter during count
week). Nearly 100 Mute Swan were
noted from 17 locations, and 85 Tundra
Swan were located on six CBCs, almost
exclusively in northwestern Ohio. There
always seems to be a lone report of Bluewinged Teal, Osprey, or Broad-winged
Hawk; we missed the Osprey this season, but the teal showed up in Wooster.
One very noteworthy find included a
female Harlequin Duck at Lakewood.
Scoters were tallied this season, with
Surf and White-winged on multiple
counts, while Black Scoter was reported
only at Lake Erie Islands. Long-tailed
Duck was found with reasonable ease in
appropriate locations, with eight individuals on four counts. Ohio observers
recorded a remarkable 32 species of
waterfowl during this period, thanks to
Lake Erie. West Virginia and Kentucky,
elsewhere in this region, recorded 22
species and 26 species, respectively.
Ruffed Grouse were rounded up on
four Ohio counts, and Northern
Bobwhite reappeared with small groups
relocated in southern Ohio at Adams
County and Cincinnati. There were several good count week finds, including a
Red-necked Grebe report from Hoover
Reservoir and American White Pelican
in Toledo. Black-crowned Night-Herons
were again found in Toledo, and were
also reported from Columbus. Black and
Turkey vulture numbers are remarkably