Winter Bird Population Survey

The Winter Bird Population Survey is patterned after the Winter Bird Population Study initiated by the National Audubon Society in 1948. The purpose of the WBP Studies is to examine the population dynamics of wintering birds. Numbers of birds from the Studies can be used as an index of abundance and compared to other years and other study plots. Annual results from all WBP Studies were published annually in Audubon Field Notes (now North American Birds) until 1984. From 1989-1995, results were in the Journal of Field Ornithology. All data is now archived by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

There are certain restrictions in participating in the WBP Study. For a woodland area like the Environmental Study Area at UM-D, the study plot must be a minimum of 10 hectares, square or rectangular, of homogenous habitat surrounded by the same or similar habitat. The linear nature of the Environmental Study Area, which is situated along the Rouge River floodplain, precluded the establishment of an official WBP Study plot. Instead, we have adopted some of the WBP Study protocol and incorporated it into our WBP Survey.

Like the Study, our Survey takes place between 20 December and 20 February. The area is visited a minimum of eight times, and the whole area is covered, if possible, on each visit. Each visit is of approximately the same duration (1.5 to 4 hours) during the same time of day (before noon). During each visit, starting time, weather conditions, and incidental observations are recorded. Each bird encountered in the study area is counted, but unlike the WBP Study, the birds are not mapped. Data is summarized according to WBP Study format. The first value following each species is the average number of individuals encountered per visit (rounded to the nearest tenth) and the value in parenthesis is the number of visits during which a species was encountered (frequency of occurrence). Birds are listed in order of abundance.

The current cumulative species total is 73.

Please note:  All data is provisional and not to be cited without permission.

Survey Results


1992-93
1993-94
1994-95
1995-96
1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
1999-00
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13
2013-14

Winter Bird Population Survey, 1992-93

Observer: Julie A. Craves

Weather: Mean starting temperature -3.3C/26F (range -13 to 1C). River remained open; lake frozen.

Coverage: 20.2 hours; 12 visits (all between 8:30 am and 12:15 pm); 11, 14, 18, 22, 25, 27 January; 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 15 February.

Census: Mallard, 27.8 ind./visit (9 visits); Black-capped Chickadee, 23.8 (12); American Robin, 22.1 (10); Northern Cardinal, 12.9 (12); American Goldfinch, 12.5 (10); Blue Jay, 10.9 (12); American Crow, 8.9 (12); Tufted Titmouse, 8.8 (12); Downy Woodpecker, 8.6 (12); Cedar Waxwing, 7.1 (4); White-breasted Nuthatch, 5.3 (12); House Sparrow, 5.0 (8); Canada Goose, 4.0 (4); Dark-eyed Junco, 3.8 (11); European Starling, 3.6 (6); American Tree Sparrow, 2.5 (8); Mourning Dove, 1.9 (8); Hairy Woodpecker, 0.8 (5); Song Sparrow, 0.4 (5); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 0.3 (4); American Black Duck, 0.3 (1); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.3 (4); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.3 (3); Northern Saw-whet Owl, 0.3 (3); Great Horned Owl, 0.2 (2); House Finch, 0.2 (2); Common Merganser, 0.2 (1); Belted Kingfisher, 0.1 (1); Hermit Thrush, 0.1 (1); Carolina Wren, 0.1 (1); Northern Flicker, 0.1 (1); Ring-necked Pheasant, 0.1 (1); Brown Creeper, 0.1 (1).

Total: 33 species; 173.2 ind./visit.

Remarks: The large flock of overwintering American Robins was present throughout the study period. The Northern Saw-whet Owl was also present the entire period, roosting in the abandoned orchard. However, we chose not to disturb it during every visit. There were at least two Cooper’s Hawks present, one adult and one juvenile. The sightings of the
Red-bellied Woodpecker, while well-spaced, were all male birds, possibly the same individual. It is probable that there are two pairs of Hairy Woodpeckers in the study area. Other observers: Michael Clipper, Orin Gelderloos, Michael Hayes, Beryl Krasner.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 1993-94

Observer: Julie A. Craves

Weather: Mean starting temperature -10C/14F (range 0 to 2C). River and lake frozen.

Coverage: 7 hours; 6 visits (all between 9:00 am and 12:15 pm); 20, 21 December 1993; 5, 12, 17, 26 January 1994.

Census: American Goldfinch, 22 ind./visit (6 visits); Black-capped Chickadee, 18.3 (6); Mourning Dove, 11.7 (6); American Tree Sparrow, 10.5 (6); Mallard, 7.7 (2); Northern Cardinal, 7.7 (6); Cedar Waxwing, 7.5 (4); Dark-eyed Junco, 7.2 (5); Tufted Titmouse, 4.3 (6); House Sparrow, 2.7 (2); White-breasted Nuthatch, 3.5 (6); Downy Woodpecker, 3.5 (6); Blue Jay, 3.3 (5); American Crow, 3 (4); European Starling, 2.7 (3); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 1 (6); Hairy Woodpecker, 0.7 (3); House Finch, 0.7 (1); Ring- billed Gull, 0.5 (2); Northern Flicker, 0.3 (2); American Robin, 0.3 (2); Canada Goose, 0.2 (1); Brown Creeper, 0.2 (1); Belted Kingfisher, 0.2 (1); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.2 (1).

Total: 24 species; 120.7 ind./visit.

Remarks: Other species in area during count period included two Common Redpolls on 10 and 14 January, Cooper’s Hawk, and Song Sparrow on 7 February. Numbers of American Tree Sparrow and American Goldfinch high this year; Dark-eyed Juncos down. Other observers: Michael Hayes, Don Yee.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 1994-95

Observer: Julie A. Craves

Weather: Mean starting temperature -3.3C/26F (range -11 to 9C). River and lake frozen most visits.

Coverage: m19.25 hours; 8 visits (all between 9:00 am and 12:15 pm); 20 December 1994; 1, 9, 14, 23 January and 8, 17 February 1995.

Census: European Starling, 40.5 ind./visit (6 visits); American Goldfinch, 35.9 (8); Black-capped Chickadee, 32.5 (8); Mallard, 32.4 (5); Canada Goose, 21.8 (3); American Robin, 20.8 (6); American Crow, 18.9 (8); Ring-billed Gull, 18.8 (2); Blue Jay, 15.8 (8); Dark-eyed Junco, 13.8 (7); Northern Cardinal, 13.1 (8); House Sparrow, 11.9 (8); Downy Woodpecker, 9.4 (8); Tufted Titmouse, 8.6 (8); White-breasted Nuthatch, 6.6 (8); Cedar Waxwing, 5.6 (3); Rock Dove, 5.5 (6); American Tree Sparrow, 4.8 (5); Mourning Dove, 3.8 (6); Snow Bunting, 3.5 (1); Hairy Woodpecker, 1.6 (6); Northern Flicker 0.8 (2); Yellow-rumped Warbler, 0.8 (2); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.8 (2); House Finch, 0.8 (2); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.5 (4); Song Sparrow, 0.5 (4); American Black Duck, 0.5 (2); Eastern Screech-owl, 0.5 (1); Belted Kingfisher, 0.3 (2); Brown Creeper, 0.3 (2); Herring Gull, 0.3 (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 0.1 (2); Great Blue Heron, 0.1 (1); Rough-legged Hawk, 0.1 (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 0.1 (1); Carolina Wren, 0.1 (1), Common Grackle, 0.1 (1).

Total: 38 species; 331.8 ind./visit.

Remarks: Red-winged Blackbird seen 13 January. Count includes for first time the Christmas Bird Count. Other observers: Karen Babicz, Rick Crossland, Gary Hutman, Dorothy McLeer, Jerry Sadowski, Rick Simek.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 1995-96

Observers: Julie A. Craves and Jerry Sadowski.

Weather: Mean starting temperature -7.2C/19F (range -15 to 2.2C). River and lake
frozen most visits.

Coverage: 46 hours; 11 visits (all between 9:00 am and 12:15 pm); 21, 27, 30 December; 1, 4, 10, 15, 22, 26, 31 January; 19 February.

Census: Canada Goose, 74.2 ind./visit (11 visits); Black-capped Chickadee, 37.9 (11); House Sparrow, 37.1 (11); American Tree Sparrow, 18.7 (11); American Crow, 14.6 (11); Blue Jay, 14.5 (11); American Goldfinch, 13.6 (11); Mourning Dove, 13.4 (9); Northern Cardinal, 11.3 (11); White-breasted Nuthatch, 10.3 (11); Rock Dove, 9.1 (10); Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco, 8.6 (11); Tufted Titmouse, 8.4 (11); Downy Woodpecker, 8.1 (11); European Starling, 8.0 (7); Mallard, 6.5 (5); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 5.9 (11); Ring-billed Gull, 4.5 (7); Hairy Woodpecker, 2.6 (9); White-throated Sparrow, 1.7 (11); House Finch, 1.5 (7); Red-breasted Nuthatch, 1.0 (11); Carolina Wren, 1.0 (7); American Robin, 0.9 (6); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.8 (7); Song Sparrow, 0.8 (8); Eastern Screech-owl, 0.5 (1); Belted Kingfisher, 0.3 (2); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.2 (2); Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker, 0.2 (2); Hermit Thrush, 0.2 (2); American Black Duck, 0.1 (1); Cedar Waxwing, 0.1 (1); Northern Shrike, 0.1 (1)

Total: 35 species; 317.6 ind./visit.

Remarks: Pine Siskin seen 28 December; Northern Shrike seen 18 February probably same bird; two White-throated Sparrows overwintered in rock garden; Red-breasted Nuthatch banded in fall and overwintered at feeder; all gulls, and nearly all ducks, geese, and Rock Doves flyovers; remarkable lack of robins and waxwings; excellent tree sparrow year.

Other observers: Jan Blaine, Rick Crossland, Gary Hutman, Dorothy McLeer, Rick Simek.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 1996-97

Observers: Julie A. Craves and Jerry Sadowski.

Weather: Mean starting temperature -5.8C/21.5F (range 5 to 45F). River and lake
frozen most visits.

Coverage: 23.5 hours, 11 visits (all before noon); 20, 27, 30 December; 1, 9, 11, 18, 26 January; 11, 13, 19 February.

Census: Black-capped Chickadee, 20.5 ind./visit (11 visits); Canada Goose, 18.9 (6); American Goldfinch, 12.9 (10); American Robin, 12.2 (8); Blue Jay, 10.5 (11); Downy Woodpecker, 7.7 (11); Dark-eyed Junco, 7.1 (7); American Crow, 7.0 (10); House Sparrow, 6.2 (5); Mallard, 4.5 (3); Northern Cardinal, 4.2 (10); Tufted Titmouse, 3.5 (8); European Starling, 3.0 (5); White-breasted Nuthatch, 2.9 (9); Mourning Dove, 2.4 (5); Ring-billed Gull, 2.0 (5); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 1.6 (8); Carolina Wren, 1.4 (6); American Tree Sparrow, 1.2 (3); Rock Dove, 1.0 (3); Hairy Woodpecker, 0.8 (3); Cedar Waxwing, 0.7 (3); Song Sparrow, 0.6 (3); Canvasback, 0. 5(1); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.5 (4); Winter Wren, 0.5 (4); Belted Kingfisher, 0.4 (3); Brown Creeper, 0.4 (1); Eastern Screech-owl, 0.3 (1); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.2 (2); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 0.2 (2); Great Blue Heron, 0.1 (1); Herring Gull, 0.1 (1); Great Horned Owl, 0.1 (1); Northern Flicker, 0.1 (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler, 0.1 (1); House Finch, 0.1 (1).

Total: 37 species; 135.9 ind./visit.

Remarks: First time censusing without feeders; Winter Wren stayed all winter; all gulls and nearly all geese and Mallards were flyovers; sapsucker was juvenile; poor year for raptors.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 1997-98

Observers: Julie Craves and Fred McDonald.

Weather: Mean starting temperature -3.3C/26F (range 17 to 37 F, -8.3 to -1.1 C). River and lake open most visits.

Coverage: 22.25 hours, 9 visits
(all before noon); 21, 29 December; 1, 13, 21, 26 January; 4, 14,
21 February.

Census: Canada Goose, 54.6 ind./visit (7 visits); [Canada Goose on site, 11.4 (3)]; American Goldfinch, 41.7 (9); Black-capped Chickadee, 26.3 (9); Common Redpoll, 17.9 (8); Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco, 16.7 (8); American Robin, 12.8 (6); Mallard, 11.6 (9); Ring-billed Gull, 9.4 (9); [Ring-billed Gull on site, 0.1 (1)]; Blue Jay, 9.0 (9); American Crow, 8.2 (9); Northern Cardinal. 8.0 (9); Downy Woodpecker, 6.8 (9); Rock Dove, 5.4 (8); European Starling, 5.3 (2); House Sparrow, 5.0 (7); Tufted Titmouse, 4.4 (9); White- breasted Nuthatch, 4.1 (9); Mourning Dove, 3.4 (5); American Tree Sparrow, 2.4 (5); House Finch, 2.2 (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 2.0 (8); White-throated Sparrow, 2.0 (5); Song Sparrow, 1.9 (7); Hairy Woodpecker, 1.7 (9); Carolina Wren, 1.7 (6); Cedar Waxwing, 1.7 (2); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.7 (5); Brown Creeper, 0.4 (4); American Black Duck, 0.3 (2); Eastern Screech-owl, 0.3 (1); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.2 (2); Hermit Thrush, 0.1 (1); Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker, 0.1 (1); Great Horned Owl, 0.1 (1); Herring Gull, 0.1 (1)

Total: 35 species; 113.3 ind./visit.

Remarks: Hermit Thrush was seen several other non-count days; White-throated Sparrows wintered in good numbers in the area, up to 5 in one group; excellent year for winter finches, Pine Siskins and White-winged Crossbills also present in Dearborn; Common Redpoll flock kept growing as season progressed, and began showing up at feeders towards end of survey period.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 1998-99

Observer: Julie Craves.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 29.9 F (-1.2C) (range 11 – 36 F, -11.2 – 2.2 C).
Lake frozen most visits, river usually open, but frozen for several weeks.

Coverage: 23.75 hours, 10 visits (all before noon);23 , 26 December 1998; 1, 21,25, 29 January; 3, 8, 16, 19 February 1999.

Census: American Goldfinch, 30.5 ind./visit (10 visits); Black-capped Chickadee, 25.5 (10); Canada Goose, 24.2 (7); Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco, 20.0 (10); American Crow, 16.6 (10); Mallard, 15.0 (5); American Robin, 12.6 (9); Northern Cardinal. 11.6 (10);

Downy Woodpecker, 9.5 (10); Blue Jay, 9.1 (10); House Sparrow, 8.0 (8); Tufted Titmouse, 7.8 (10); European Starling, 4.4 (8); White-breasted Nuthatch, 4.1 (9); Ring-billed Gull, 3.7 (5); Rock Dove, 3.2 (6); American Tree Sparrow, 2.9 (5); House Finch, 2.6 (3); Mourning Dove, 2.5 (7); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 1.9 (6); Red-tailed Hawk, 1.6 (9); Cedar Waxwing, 1.6 (1); Hairy Woodpecker, 1.3 (8); Red-winged Blackbird, 1.0 (2); Belted Kingfisher 0.9 (8); Brown Creeper, 0.8 (5); Carolina Wren, 0.6 (4); Great Blue Heron, 0.5 (3); Eastern Screech-owl, 0.5 (1); Song Sparrow, 0.4 (3); White-throated Sparrow, 0.2 (1); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.2 (2); American Black Duck, 0.1 (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 0.1 (1); Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker, 0.1 (1).

Total: 35 species; 225.6 ind./visit.

Remarks: Deep snow and extreme temperatures prevented surveys for two weeks in early January. Large numbers of American Robins were present early in survey period, but later disappeared, giving us the same ind/visit as last year. Sapsucker was an excellent record for February. One male kingfisher remained all period.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 1999-2000

Observers: Julie Craves and Fred McDonald.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 19.8 F (-6.8C) (range 7 – 36 F, -13.9 – 2.2 C). Lake and most of river frozen most.

Coverage: 31.3 hours, 14 visits (all before noon); 22, 25, 27, and 29 December 1999; 1, 6, 11, 14, 17, 21, and 28 January; 3, 8, and 15 February 2000.

Census: Canada Goose, 50.2 ind./visit (11 visits); American Goldfinch, 20.9 (14); Black-capped Chickadee, 15.9 (14); Dark-eyed Junco, 15.1 (12); American Robin, 13.8 (14); American Crow, 11.0 (14); Northern Cardinal, 10.1 (14); House Sparrow, 8.6 (14); Mallard, 7.2 (5); Blue Jay, 6.6 (14); Downy Woodpecker, 6.4 (14); American Tree Sparrow, 6.1 (8); European Starling, 5.6 (10); Tufted Titmouse, 4.7 (13); House Finch, 4.4 (8); White-breasted Nuthatch, 4.1 (13); Mourning Dove, 3.1 (10); Rock Dove, 3.1 (11); Song Sparrow, 2.2 (10); Ring-billed Gull, 2.1 (7); Pine Siskin, 1.8 (7); Hairy Woodpecker, 1.5 (8); Herring Gull, 1.4 (7); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 1.1 ( 9); Carolina Wren, 0.9 (8); White-throated Sparrow, 0.9 (4); Cedar Waxwing, 0.6 (2); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.6 (7); Brown Creeper, 0.4 (4); Red-breasted Nuthatch, 0.4 (3); Northern Flicker, 0.3 (2); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.3 (3); Belted Kingfisher, 0.3 (4); Yellow-rumped Warbler, 0.1 (2); Eastern Screech-owl, 0.1 (1); Fox Sparrow, 0.1 (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 0.1 (1).

Total: 37 species; 212 ind./visit.

Remarks: High numbers of Canada Geese came from early in the survey period; snow cover and frozen river made them disappear beginning in mid-January. All gulls flyovers.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2000-2001

Observers: Julie Craves and Fred McDonald.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 23 F (-5 C) (range 10 – 35 F, -12.29 – 1.7 C). Lake and most of river frozen most days.

Coverage: 29 hours, 15 visits (all before noon); 20, 27, and 29 December 2000; 1, 4, 8, 11, 16, 19, 23, and 26 January; 7, 12, 16, and 20 February 2001.

Census: American Crow, 19.9 ind./visit (15 visits); AmericanGoldfinch, 19.9 (14); Black-capped Chickadee, 19.1 (15); Mallard, 14.1 (10); Blue Jay, 13.3 (15); Northern Cardinal, 12.5 (15); Dark-eyed Junco, 11.3 (13); Downy Woodpecker, 9.1 (14); House Sparrow, 8.6 (12); American Robin, 7.7 (11); Tufted Titmouse, 6.5 (15); House Finch, 6.5 (5); European
Starling, 5.3 (9); Mourning Dove, 4.9 (10); White-breasted Nuthatch, 4.2 (14); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 2.9 (15); American Tree Sparrow, 2.3 (8); Ring-billed Gull, 1.9 (4);Rock Dove, 1.7 (9); Hairy Woodpecker, 1.7 (12); Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1.5 (7); Canada Goose, 1.4 (3); Carolina Wren, 1.3 (9); Cedar Waxwing, 1.1 (1); Red-tailed Hawk, 1.0 (8); Great Blue Heron, 0.9 (5); White-throated Sparrow, 0.9 (7); Brown Creeper, 0.5 (6); Northern Flicker, 0.5 (6); Song Sparrow, 0.3 (2); Eastern Screech-owl, 0.2 (1); Herring Gull, 0.2 (3); Common Merganser, 0.2 (1); Hermit Thrush, 0.1 (2); Bald Eagle, 0.1 (1); Great Horned Owl, 0.1 (1); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.1 (1): Red-winged Blackbird, 0.1 (1).

Total: 38 species; 184.3 ind./visit.

Remarks: High ranking of House Finch due to large counts on two occasions near golf course. Low numbers of Canada Geese due to early freeze up of standing water. Northern Flicker, Brown Creeper, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and White-throated Sparrows all seen throughout survey period.. All gulls flyovers.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2001-2002

Observers: Julie Craves and Fred McDonald.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 29 F (-1.7 C) (range 19 – 45 F, -7.2 – 7.2 C). Lake and most of riveropen most days.

Coverage: 29 hours, 19 visits (all before noon); 21, 24, 27, 29, and 31 December 2001; 1, 4, 6, 10, 14, 16, 19, 24, and 28 January; 2, 5, 9, 14, and 16 February 2002.

Census: Canada Goose, 30.7 ind./visit (14 visits); American Goldfinch, 25.1 (17); Black-capped Chickadee, 20.7 (19); House Sparrow, 18.3 (16); House Finch, 15.9 (14); Northern Cardinal, 14.3 (19); Blue Jay, 13.6 (19); American Crow, 12.9 (19); European Starling, 12.7 (16); Mourning Dove, 12.6 (16); Dark-eyed Junco, 11.7 (15); Mallard, 8.9 (13); Downy Woodpecker, 8.4 (18); American Robin, 8.2 (14); Tufted Titmouse, 6.6 (17); American Tree Sparrow, 5.6 (11); White-breasted Nuthatch, 5.0 (17); Ring-billed Gull, 3.9 (8); Rock Dove, 3.5 (10); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 3.3 (18); Hairy Woodpecker, 1.8 (13); White-throated Sparrow, 1.8 (10); Carolina Wren, 1.4 (10); Song Sparrow, 0.9 (5); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.7 (7); Great Blue Heron, 0.6 (5); Belted Kingfisher, 0.4 (5); Red-breasted Nuthatch, 0.4 (5); Herring Gull, 0.3 (2); Brown Creeper, 0.3 (3); Northern Flicker, 0.2 (2); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.2 (3); Common Grackle, 0.2 (2); Great Horned Owl, 0.1 (2); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 0.1 (2); Eastern Screech-Owl, 0.1 (1); Great Black-backed Gull, 0.1 (1); Northern Saw-whet Owl, 0.1 (2); Common Merganser, 0.1 (1); Northern Mockingbird, 0.1 (1); Golden-crowned Kinglet, 0.1 (1).

Total: 41 species; 171.1 ind./visit.

Remarks: Great Black-backed Gull, Northern Mockingbird, and Golden-crowned Kinglet all new to count, bringing total to 55 species. Northern Saw-whet Owl present in area for several weeks. Record high for White-throated Sparrow due to up to four wintering at new EIC feeders. This is the first year we have recorded no Cedar Waxwings.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2002-2003

Observers: Julie Craves, Andy Dettling, Jim Fowler, Jr., Darrin O’Brien.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 22.1 F (-5.5C) (range 4 to 35 F, -15.6 to 1.7C). Fairlane Lake frozen most days; Rouge River partially to totally frozen.

Coverage: 39 hours, 15 visits (all before noon); 20, 24, and 29 December 2002; 1, 7, 10, 14, 17, 22, and 27 January; 2, 6, 9, 11, and 14 February 2003.

Census: Dark-eyed Junco, 26.9 ind./visit (15 visits); American Robin, 26.6/12;

Northern Cardinal, 18.7/15; House Finch, 18.2/14; Canada Goose, 15.1/7; American Goldfinch, 13.5/13; European Starling, 11.8/10; Downy Woodpecker, 9.8/15; Mourning Dove, 8.3/13; White-throated Sparrow, 5.8/15; Black-capped Chickadee, 5.6/14; Blue Jay, 5.5/15; Red-bellied Woodpecker, 4.3/15; House Sparrow, 4.3/11; Rock Dove, 3.1/9; White-breasted Nuthatch, 2.4/13; Song Sparrow, 2.1/11; Hairy Woodpecker, 2.1/14; Great Blue Heron, 2.0/6; Mallard, 1.9/5; American Tree Sparrow, 1.9/11; Carolina Wren, 1.7/12; American Crow, 1.2/7; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1.2/4; Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1.2/7; Northern Flicker, 0.9/8; Cedar Waxwing, 0.7/5; Cooper’s Hawk, 0.6/6; Red-tailed Hawk, 0.6/5; Northern Saw-whet Owl, 0.4/6, Ring-billed Gull, 0.4/4; Brown Creeper, 0.3/5; American Black Duck, 0.3/3; Belted Kingfisher, 0.3/4; Tufted Titmouse, 0.2/2; Winter Wren, 0.2/2; Northern Mockingbird, 0.1/2; Swamp Sparrow, 0.1/2; Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 0.1/1; Hermit Thrush, 0.1/1.

Total: 40 species; 200.5 ind./visit.

Remarks: Swamp Sparrow new to count, bringing total to 56 species. Northern Saw-whet Owl present in area for several weeks. Record high for White-throated Sparrow due to birds wintering at new EIC feeders. West Nile Virus and/or weather during breeding  season may be the cause for record low numbers of American Crows and Tufted Titmice.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2003-2004

Observers: Julie Craves, Fred McDonald, Greg Norwood, Darrin O’Brien.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 23.9 F (-4.5C)
(range 2 to 40 F, -16.7 to 4.4C). Fairlane Lake frozen most days;
Rouge River partially to totally frozen.

Coverage: 35.75 hours, 19 visits (all before noon); 20, 22, 24, 26 and 30 December 2003; 1, 3, 8, 13, 19, 23, 26, and 30 January; 1, 6, 8, 11, 16, and 20 February 2003.

Census: Canada Goose, 25.6 ind./visit (9 visits); American Robin, 18.0(16); American

Goldfinch, 17.6 (16); House Finch, 14.5 (16); Northern Cardinal, 11.9 (19); Downy Woodpecker, 10.6 (18); Mallard, 9.2 (8); Dark-eyed Junco, 9.1 (17); White-throated Sparrow, 8.5 (19); Black-capped Chickadee, 5.8 (19); House Sparrow, 5.8 (15); European Starling, 5.7 (16); Mourning Dove, 3.8 (14); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 3.6 (17); Rock Pigeon, 3.5 (9); Blue Jay, 3.4 (17); White-breasted Nuthatch, 2.9 (17); Hairy Woodpecker, 2.2 (18); Carolina Wren, 2.2 (17); Ring-billed Gull, 1.9 (8); Song Sparrow, 1.5 (6); Great Blue Heron, 1.4 (6); Tufted Titmouse, 1.3 (13); Herring Gull, 0.7 (2); Brown Creeper, 0.7 (7); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.5 (8); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.3 (5); Northern Flicker, 0.3 (5); Northern Saw-whet Owl, 0.3 (4); Winter Wren, 0.2 (3); American Tree Sparrow, 0.2 (3); Swamp Sparrow, 0.2 (3); American Crow, 0.2 (2); Eastern Screech-Owl, 0.2 (1); Great Horned Owl, 0.2 (1); Northern Mockingbird, 0.1 (2); Yellow-rumped Warbler, 0.1 (2); Horned Lark, 0.1 (1); Sharp-shinned Hawk, 0.1 (1); Hermit Thrush, 0.1 (1); Common Grackle, 0.1 (1); Belted Kingfisher, 0.1 (1); Eastern Towhee, 0.1 (1).

Total: 43 species; 174.6 ind./visit.

Remarks: Sharp-shinned Hawk, Horned Lark, and Eastern Towhee new to count, bringing cumulative total to 59 species.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2004-2005

Observers: Julie Craves, Greg Norwood, Darrin O’Brien.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 22.9 F (-5.0C) (range 8 to 36 F, -13 to 2C). Fairlane Lake frozen most days; Rouge River open to totally frozen.

Coverage: 25.75 hours, 14 visits (all before noon); 20, 23, 26 and 29 December 2004; 1, 4, 12, 16, 21, 25, and 30 January; 3, 9, and 16 February 2005.

Census: American Goldfinch, 24.0 ind./visit (14 visits); Northern Cardinal, 19.6 (14); Dark-eyed Junco, 16.6 (14); House Finch, 14.5 (13); European Starling, 11.4 (6); Downy  Woodpecker, 10.6 (14); White-throated Sparrow, 9.1 (14); American Robin, 8.7 (11); Black-capped Chickadee, 7.1 (14); Ring-billed Gull, 6.5 (9); House Sparrow, 5.8 (10); Hairy Woodpecker, 4.4 (14); White-breasted Nuthatch, 4.1 (13); Blue Jay, 3.9 (14); Rock Pigeon, 2.7 (8); Mourning Dove, 2.5 (9); Canada Goose, 2.4 (4); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 2.4 (12); Cedar Waxwing, 2.3 (2); Mallard, 1.9 (4); Song Sparrow, 1.8 (8); Tufted Titmouse, 1.5 (11); Carolina Wren, 1.1 (9); American Tree Sparrow, 0.9 (4); Great Blue Heron, 0.9 (2); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.8 (7); Winter Wren, 0.5 (5); Northern Flicker, 0.5 (3); Herring Gull, 0.5 (1); Northern Mockingbird, 0.4 (5); American Crow, 0.4 (4); Brown Creeper, 0.4 (3); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.3 (3); Common Merganser, 0.3 (2); Eastern Screech-owl, 0.1 (2); Belted Kingfisher, 0.1 (2); Red-breasted Nuthatch, 0.1 (2); Great Horned Owl, 0.1 (1); Horned Lark, 0.1 (1); Eastern Bluebird, 0.1 (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler, 0.1 (1).

Total: 41 species; 179.8 ind./visit.

Remarks: Eastern Bluebird new to count, bringing cumulative total to 60 species. American Crows still not recovering from West Nile virus, with a highly significant decline in mean number per hour and per visit pre- and post-WNV (2002-2003). Hairy and Downy Woodpecker continue the increase first noticed last year, probably as a result of
a serious infestation of Emerald Ash Borers on campus. Both species set record highs for number per hour and per visit.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2005-2006

Observers: Julie Craves, Greg Norwood, Darrin O’Brien.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 31.8 F (-0.1C) (range 10 to 47 F, -12.2 to 8.3C). Fairlane Lake frozen many days; Rouge River open nearly all days.

Coverage: 28.75 hours, 16 visits (all before noon); 20, 23, 26 and 31 December 2005; 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 19, 25, 27, and 31 January; 2, 7, and 11 February 2006.

Census: American Robin, 30.8 ind./visit (16 visits); House Finch, 20.7 (15); American Goldfinch, 19.7 (16); Northern Cardinal, 17.4 (16); Mallard, 14.7 (11); European Starling, 12.2 (12); Black-capped Chickadee, 11.7 (16); Downy Woodpecker, 11.0 (16); House Sparrow, 18.1 (15); White-throated Sparrow, 7.4 (14); Blue Jay, 6.9 (16); Dark-eyed Junco, 6.2 (13); White-breasted Nuthatch, 3.9 (16); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 3.4 (14); Hairy Woodpecker, 3.0 (15); Rock Pigeon, 2.4 (7); Great Blue Heron, 2.1 (5); Canada Goose, 1.7 (9); Carolina Wren, 1.6 (13); Mourning Dove, 1.6 (7); Northern Flicker, 1.6 (11);
Cedar Waxwing, 1.4 (3); Song Sparrow, 0.9 (8); Ring-billed Gull, 0.9 (5); Brown Creeper, 0.8 (6); Golden-crowned Kinglet, 0.5 (3); American Crow, 0.4 (6); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.4 (5); Eastern Screech-owl, 0.4 (1); Red-breasted Nuthatch, 0.4 (3); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.3 (4); Hermit Thrush, 0.3 (5); Belted Kingfisher, 0.2 (4); Northern Mockingbird, 0.2 (4); American Tree Sparrow, 0.2 (2); Yellow-rumped Warbler, 0.2 (3); Sharp-shinned Hawk, 0.1 (2); Great Horned Owl, 0.1 (1); Winter Wren, 0.1 (1); Hooded Merganser,
0.1 (1); Red-winged Blackbird, 0.1 (1).

Total: 41 species; 197.0 ind./visit.

Remarks: Hooded Merganser new to count, bringing cumulative total to 61 species. For the first time, no Tufted Titmice were counted. Chickadees have had slowly increasing numbers since 2003. American Crows still not recovering from West Nile virus, with fewer than 10 seen for the third year in a row. Mean prior to WNV was 138.7, mean since (2002-2006) is 8.5.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2006-2007

Observers: Julie Craves, Darrin O’Brien.
Weather: Mean starting temperature 27.2 F (-2.7C) (range 5 to 43 F, –15 to 6.1C). All water open until third week in January, as temperatures were very mild until then with virtually no snow cover; after that, very cold, followed by snow in Feb.

Coverage: 30.75 hours, 16 visits (all before noon); 21, 24, 27 and 30 December 2006; 1, 3, 8, 12, 16, 20, 27, and 31 January; 7, 11, 17, and 20 February 2007.

Census: American Robin, 39.6 ind./visit (15 visits); House Sparrow, (32.2 (16); Canada
Goose, 24.4 (9); House Finch, 23.7 (16); Northern Cardinal, 23.3 (16); American Goldfinch, 19.9 (16); European Starling, 17.9 (15); Mallard, 17.9 (13); Dark-eyed Junco, 13.4 (15); White-throated Sparrow, 11.1 (16); Downy Woodpecker, 11.0 (16); Black-capped  Chickadee, 10.0 (16); Blue Jay, 6.1 (16); White-breasted Nuthatch, 5.1 (16); Ring-billed Gull, 4.5 (14); Rock Pigeon, 3.9 (12); Mourning Dove, 3.8, (10); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 2.7 (16); Tufted Titmouse, 2.6 (16); Hairy Woodpecker, 2.6 (16); Carolina Wren, 1.6 (12); American Tree Sparrow, 0.9 (6); Song Sparrow, 0.8 (6); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.5 (7); American Crow, 0.5 (5); Great Blue Heron, 0.4 (4); Winter Wren, 0.4 (5); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.3 (5); Eastern Screech-Owl, 0.2 (1); Golden-crowned Kinglet, 0.2 (3); Brown Creeper, 0.2 (2); Belted Kingfisher, 0.1 (2); Northern Flicker, 0.1 (2); Red-breasted Nuthatch, 0.1 (1); Swamp Sparrow, 0.1 (2); Common Merganser, 0.1 (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 0.1 (1); Cedar Waxwing, 0.1 (1); Red-winged Blackbird, 0.1 (1).

Total: 39 species; 282.6 ind./visit.

Remarks: Despite the very mild conditions, with open water and no snow cover, for the majority of the count period, typical “half-hardy” species such as Northern Flicker, Hermit Thrush, and Cedar Waxwing were in short supply. The Northern Mockingbird which had been resident in the brush dump from 2001 through last year is no longer with us. American Crows continue their post-West Nile virus slump, with fewer than 10 seen for the fourth year in a row. Mean prior to WNV was 138.7, mean since (2002-2007) is 6.0


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2007-2008

Observers: Julie Craves, Greg Norwood, Darrin O’Brien.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 26.2 F (-3.2C) (range 10 to 39 F, –12.2 to 3.9C).

Coverage: 38.25 hours, 17 visits (all before noon); 18, 21, 25, 28, and 31 December 2007; 1, 4, 9, 13, 15, 23, 28, and 31 January; 4, 8, 12, and 28 February 2008.

Census: American Robin, 60.0 ind./visit (13 visits); House Sparrow, 27.3 (17); Northern Cardinal, 20.3 (16); European Starling, 19.2 (13); American Goldfinch, 12.9 (17); Dark-eyed Junco, 12.7 (15); Canada Goose, 10.7 (9); Black-capped Chickadee, 9.9 (17); House Finch, 9.9 (17); Downy Woodpecker, 9.8 (17); Common Redpoll, 7.2 (11); Blue Jay, 7.1 (16); White-breasted Nuthatch, 6.9 (17); White-throated Sparrow, 6.5 (16); Mallard, 5.7 (8); Cedar Waxwing, 5.4 (7); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 3.2 (16); Carolina Wren, 2.9 (16); Tufted Titmouse, 2.8 (15); Hairy Woodpecker, 2.5 (17); Song Sparrow, 1.9 (10); Rock Pigeon, 1.6(5); American Tree Sparrow, 1.2 (6); Mourning Dove, 0.9, (9); Great Blue Heron, 0.9 (8); Red-breasted Nuthatch, 0.8 (11); Ring-billed Gull, 0.6 (5); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.6 (8); Brown Creeper, 0.5 (7); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.4 (7); Northern Saw-whet Owl, 0.3 (3); American Crow, 0.3 (4); Eastern Screech-Owl, 0.3 (1); Horned Lark, 0.2 (2); Pine Siskin, 0.2 (1); Golden-crowned Kinglet, 0.2 (2); Snow Bunting, 0.2 (2); Belted Kingfisher, 0.1 (2); Northern Flicker, 0.1 (2); Common Grackle, 0.1 (1); Hoary Redpoll, 0.1 (1).

Total: 41 species; 254.9 ind./visit.

Remarks: A winter finch “superflight” is evidenced by the high numbers of Common Redpolls, one flock which included a well-seen Hoary Redpoll, a new species for the county. The flight also included numerous Red-breasted Nuthatches, and this was the first year of the Survey that at least two spent the winter visiting the feeders. The other new species was Snow Bunting (all recorded as flyovers), bringing the 16-year total species count to 63. The American Crow update is more of the same: with fewer than 10 seen for the fifth straight year. Mean prior to WNV was 138.7, mean since (2003-2008) is 8.0.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2008-2009

Observers: Julie Craves, Darrin O’Brien.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 21.2 F (-6C) (range 5 to 43 F, –15 to 6C).

Coverage: 34 hours, 17 visits (all before noon); 20, 23, 26, and 29 December 2008; 1, 3, 7, 10, 14, 22, 26, and 29 January; 6, 10, 14, and 17 February 2008.

Census: American Robin, 47.1 ind./visit (17 visits); House Sparrow, 41.1 (16); American Goldfinch, 24.8 (17); European Starling, 23.2 (14); House Finch, 21.8 (17); Northern Cardinal, 21.2 (17); Common Redpoll, 17.4 (8); Dark-eyed Junco, 17.3 (17); White-throated Sparrow, 10.5 (17); Downy Woodpecker, 10.2 (17); Black-capped Chickadee, 8.9 (17); Blue Jay, 7.5 (17); White-breasted Nuthatch, 6.2 (17); Canada Goose, 5.8 (4); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 5.0 (17); Mourning Dove, 4.5, (15); Pine Siskin, 3.5 (12); Tufted Titmouse, 3.1 (17); Carolina Wren, 2.6 (15); Hairy Woodpecker, 2.4 (16); Mallard, 1.6 (3); Brown Creeper, 0.6 (8); American Tree Sparrow, 0.6 (8); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.4 (7); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.4 (7); Rock Pigeon, 0.4 (2); Northern Flicker, 0.3 (4); Cedar Waxwing, 0.3 (2); American Crow, 0.2 (1); Red-breasted Nuthatch, 0.2 (3); Hermit Thrush, 0.2 (3); Golden-crowned Kinglet, 0.2 (2); Song Sparrow, 0.2 (2); Ring-billed Gull, 0.2 (2); Eastern Screech-Owl, 0.2 (1); White-winged Crossbill, 0.1 (2); Common Grackle, 0.1 (2); Common Goldeneye, 0.1 (1); Great Blue Heron, 0.1 (1); Sharp-shinned Hawk, 0.1 (1); Red-shouldered Hawk, 0.1 (1); Great Horned Owl, 0.1 (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler, 0.1 (1); Snow Bunting, 0.1 (1); Brown-headed Cowbird, 0.1 (1).

Total: 45 species; 290.6 ind./visit.

Remarks: Forty-five species was a new record for the WBPS, with four new species being recorded this year: Common Goldeneye (not unusual in winter on the Rouge River, but a first for campus), Red-shouldered Hawk (first record in Dearborn for December or January), White-winged Crossbill (part of a remarkable irruption in which they have been recorded in every county in the state, these records were the first for campus but represented only a couple of flyovers versus larger flocks that were seen elsewhere in the city), and Brown-headed Cowbird. The cumulative total for the WBPS is now 67 species.

A large flock of Common Redpolls arrived on campus in mid-January and was usually found feeding on the black alders around the lake. A modest number of Pine Siskins were with them, although more were found elsewhere in the city. Low waterbird numbers were due to cold temperatures and lots of snow cover that kept water frozen most of the period. This was only the third year Belted Kingfisher has not been recorded. Finally, American Crows remain nearly absent due to West Nile virus. Four crows flying over on 10 Feb were the only sightings over the survey period.

Blog post here.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2009-2010

Observers: Julie Craves, Darrin O’Brien.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 24.4 F (-4.2C) (range 10 to 35 F, –12.2 to 1.7C). All water open only on initial surveys, still water frozen by January, river on campus frozen by mid-January.

Coverage: 24 hours, 14 visits (all before noon); 21, 24, and December 2009; 1, 5, 10, 14, 17, 21, 29, and 31 January; 4, 14, and 17 February 2010.

Census: American Robin, 44.2 ind./visit (14 visits); House Sparrow, 31.8 (14); Northern Cardinal, 22.5 (14); Black-capped Chickadee, 12.6 (14); Blue Jay, 11.4 (14); House Finch, 10.9 (14); American Goldfinch, 10.6 (14); Downy Woodpecker, 9.5 (14); ; White-thoated Sparrow,8.7 (13); White-breasted Nuthatch, 7.5 (14); Rock Pigeon, 5.4 (6); Tufted Titmouse, 4.7 (14); Dark-eyed Junco, 3.4 (11); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 3.4 (14); Canada Goose, 3.1 (2); European Starling, 3.1 (2); Hairy Woodpecker, 2.6 (14); Mourning Dove, 2.0, (9); Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1.0 (7); Brown Creeper, 0.9 (7); Ring-billed Gull, 0.6 (4); Carolina Wren, 0.4 (5); ; Cooper’s Hawk, 0.4 (5); ; Red-tailed Hawk, 0.4 (4); Song Sparrow, 0.4 (1); Eastern Screech-Owl, 0.2 (1); Great Blue Heron, 0.1 (2); American Tree Sparrow, 0.1 (2); Fox Sparrow, 0.1 (2); Swamp Sparrow, 0.1 (2); Mute Swan, 0.1 (1); Mallard, 0.1 (1); Long-eared Owl, 0.1 (1); N. Saw-whet Owl, 0.1 (1); Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker, 0.1 (1); American Crow, 0.1 (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler, 0.1 (1).

Total: 37 species; 202.5 ind./visit.

Remarks: Two new species were added this year: Mute Swan (two birds flying over on 4 February), and a Long-eared Owl on 21 January. This brings the total cumulative species list to 69. Low waterbird numbers due to relatively early freeze-up of lake and river. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, American Crows continue their post-West Nile virus slump. This winter, only a single crow was counted during the survey period. This is the seventh year in a row with fewer than 10 total counted on the survey. The average number of crows found over the survey period prior to WNV was 139; the mean since (2003-2010) is 7.

Blog post here.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2010-2011

Observers: Julie Craves, Darrin O’Brien.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 28.1 F  (-2.2C) (range 18 to 48 F, –7.8 to 8.9C).  Cold weather beginning in early December froze lake and river through most of survey period. Coverage: 28.5 hours, 16 visits (all before noon); 20, 23, 27, and 31 December 2010; 1, 3, 7, 11, 14, 20, 25, and 28 January; 1, 7, 15, and 18 February 2011.

Census: House Sparrow, 57.4 ind./visit (16 visits); American Robin, 44.9 (16); American Goldfinch, 27.8 (16); Northern Cardinal, 22.6 (16); Black-capped Chickadee, 22.2 (15); House Finch, 21.9 (16); Dark-eyed Junco, 11.9 (15); White-thoated Sparrow, 11.2 (16); Downy Woodpecker, 10.9 (16); Blue Jay, 10.2 (16); White-breasted Nuthatch, 8.0 (16); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 4.1 (16); Tufted Titmouse, 3.4 (16); European Starling, 2.7 (11); ; Mourning Dove, 2.6, (13); Hairy Woodpecker, 2.4 (15); Canada Goose, 2.3 (3); Rock Pigeon, 1.7 (5); Carolina Wren, 1.7 (12); American Crow, 1.5 (5); American Tree Sparrow, 1.1 (5); Common Redpoll, 1.1 (3); Mallard, 0.7 (2);  Great Blue Heron, 0.5 (1); Eastern Screech-Owl, 0.5 (6); Tundra Swan, 0.4 (1); Red-breasted Nuthatch, 0.4 (7); Winter Wren, 0.4 (5); Song Sparrow, 0.4 (5); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.3 (5); Brown Creeper, 0.3 (5); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.2 (3); Ring-billed Gull, 0.2 (1); ; Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker, 0.2 (3); Swamp Sparrow, 0.2 (2); Red-winged Blackbird, 0.2 (1); Sharp-shinned Hawk, 0.1 (2);  Golden-crowned Kinglet, 0.1 (2); Red-shouldered Hawk, 0.1 (1); Great Horned Owl, 0.1 (1); Belted Kingfisher, 0.1 (1); Horned Lark, 0.1 (1); Cedar Waxwing, 0.1 (1); Brown-headed Cowbird, 0.1 (1).

Total: 44 species; 279.2 ind./visit.

Remarks: One new species was added this year: Tundra Swan (seven birds flying over on 20 December). This brings the total cumulative species list for 19 years to 70. This is only the second year in which we have recorded Red-shouldered Hawk. Although only seen during one survey, the bird was observed several times throughout the period. The Horned Lark was a flyover. A small number of Common Redpolls were recorded on three occasions late in the count period. The 1.5 individuals/visit for American Crow was the first time it exceeded 1 since 2003, when West Nile Virus decimated their local numbers. This bump was largely due to the 15 that were counted, most in one flock flying over, during the Christmas Bird Count on 1 January.

Blog post here.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2011-2012

Observers: Julie Craves, Darrin O’Brien.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 32.3 F  (0.17 C) (range 7 to 49 F, –13.9 to 9.4 C). Extremely mild winter, with 13 of 19 survey days with a starting temperature over 32 F (0 C). Very little or no snow cover.  Coverage: 33.3 hours, 19 visits (all before noon); 20, 22, 26, and 29 December 2011; 1, 4, 6, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 27 and 29 January; 2, 6, 9, 15, and 20 February 2012.

Census: House Sparrow, 40.9 ind./visit (19 visits); American Robin, 35.2 (19); American Goldfinch, 23.1 (19); Northern Cardinal, 22.5 (19); Dark-eyed Junco, 20.5 (18); House Finch, 19.8 (17); Black-capped Chickadee, 15.9 (19); Downy Woodpecker, 14.6 (19); Blue Jay, 10.8 (19); White-thoated Sparrow, 8.7 (18); White-breasted Nuthatch, 8.3 (19); Tufted Titmouse, 6.8 (19); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 6.1 (19); Canada Goose, 6.0 (9); Hairy Woodpecker, 3.6 (18); European Starling, 2.8 (8); Mourning Dove, 2.6, (9); Mallard, 2.4 (6); Carolina Wren, 2.1 (15); Rock Pigeon, 2.0 (6);  Song Sparrow, 1.6 (13); Ring-billed Gull, 1.2 (5); Brown Creeper, 0.8 (10); Great Blue Heron, 0.4 (5); Belted Kingfisher, 0.4 (5); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.3 (5); Eastern Screech-Owl, 0.3 (1); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.2 (4); Gray Catbird, 0.3 (3); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 0.2 (3);  American Crow, 0.2 (3); Horned Lark, 0.2 (2); American Tree Sparrow, 0.2 (1); Northern Saw-whet Owl, 0.1 (2); Sharp-shinned Hawk, 0.1 (1); Great Horned Owl, 0.1 (1); Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker, 0.1 (1); Winter Wren, 0.1 (1); Pine Warbler, 0.1 (1).

Total: 39 species; 260.9 ind./visit.
Remarks: Two new species were added this year: Gray Catbird and Pine Warbler. Two catbirds were recorded on 20 December, and one bird was seen on two dates in January. The Pine Warbler was visiting the EIC suet feeders on 26 December. This brings the total cumulative species list for 20 years to 72. Cedar was not seen this year, only the fourth year it has been missed over 20 years. Although Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls were recorded several times over the period elsewhere in Dearborn, we did not have any sightings on campus.

Blog post here.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2012-2013

Observer: Julie Craves.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 26.9F  (-2.8C) (range 17 to 41F, –8.3 to 5C). Generally little or no snow cover.  Coverage: 26.6 hours, 15 visits (all before noon); 19 and 26 December 2012; 1, 4, 8, 10, 14, 17, 21, 25, and 29 January; 5, 13, 18, and 21 February 2012.

Census: House Sparrow, 22.5 ind./visit (15 visits); Northern Cardinal,19.8 (15); House Finch, 19.0 (14); Pine Siskin, 15.6 (14); Dark-eyed Junco, 12.7 (14);  Downy Woodpecker, 9.5 (15); Black-capped Chickadee, 9.3 (15); American Goldfinch, 9.1 (15); Canada Goose, 8.3 (7); Blue Jay, 8.1 (15); White-thoated Sparrow, 7.2 (15); White-breasted Nuthatch, 6.4 (15); Tufted Titmouse, 6.0 (15); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 4.3 (15); American Robin, 3.1 (11);  Carolina Wren, 2.3 (15); Mallard, 2.0 (4); European Starling, 1.8 (5);  Rock Pigeon, 1.5 (5);  Hairy Woodpecker, 1.5 (14); Mourning Dove, 1.3, (11); Red-breasted Nuthatch 1.0 (10); Song Sparrow, 0.9 (6); Great Blue Heron, 0.8 (3); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.6 (6); Ring-billed Gull, 0.6 (4); Brown Creeper, 0.3 (4); American Tree Sparrow, 0.3 (2);  Eastern Screech-Owl, 0.3 (1); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.2 (3); Belted Kingfisher, 0.2 (2); American Crow, 0.2 (1); Horned Lark, 0.2 (1); Great Horned Owl, 0.1 (1); Northern Saw-whet Owl, 0.1 (1); Merlin, 0.1 (1); Winter Wren, 0.1 (1); Swamp Sparrow, 0.1 (1);  Brown-headed Cowbird, 0.1 (1).

Total: 39 species; 177.5 ind./visit.

Remarks: One new species was added this year: a Merlin recorded on 19 December. This brings the total cumulative species list for 21 years to 73. The number of American Robins was the lowest since 1995, and only two years have had lower numbers; this was due to the poor fruit crop in the fall season. A group of three American Crows flying over campus were the only ones recorded all season. Nine out of the last ten years have recorded fewer than ten crows all survey season. Pine Siskins have only been recorded in three previous years, and this year they were present on all but one visit and in numbers >20 prior to mid-January.

Blog post here.


Winter Bird Population Survey, 2013-2014

Observer: Julie Craves.

Weather: Mean starting temperature 22F  (-5.6C) (range 5 to 38F, –15 to 3.3C). Snow cover substantial entire season, from 7 to 24+ inches.  Coverage: 27.25 hours, 15 visits (all before noon); 19, 23, 26, and 30 December 2013; 1, 4, 9, 13, 17, 22, and 31 January; 4, 10, and 19 February 2014.

Census: American Robin, 36.5 ind./visit (15 visits); House Sparrow, 31.7 (15); Northern Cardinal, 21.6 (15); American Goldfinch, 16.9 (15); Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco, 16.7 (15); House Finch, 15.7 (14); Blue Jay, 14.4 (15); Black-capped Chickadee, 13.4 (15); Downy Woodpecker, 11.1 (15); White-throated Sparrow, 11.1 (15); Mourning Dove, 7.1 (12); Tufted Titmouse, 6.6 (15); White-breasted Nuthatch, 6.3 (15); Red-bellied Woodpecker, 5.6 (15); Carolina Wren, 2.7 (13); European Starling, 2.4 (7); American Tree Sparrow, 2.0 (7); Hairy Woodpecker, 1.8 (1.3); Canada Goose, 1.3 (1); Common Merganser, 1.1 (1); Cedar Waxwing, 1.1 (2); Mallard, 0.9 (1); Rock Pigeon, 0.9 (4); Ring-billed Gull, 0.8 (6); Red-tailed Hawk, 0.5 (5); E. Screech-Owl, 0.5 (1); Great Blue Heron, 0.4 (2); Cooper’s Hawk, 0.4 (6); Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker, 0.3 (3); Brown Creeper, 0.3 (4); Red-breasted Merganser, 0.3 (1); Song Sparrow, 0.3 (4); Common Goldeneye, 0.2 (1); Belted Kingfisher, 0.1 (2); Purple Finch, 0.1 (2); N. Saw-whet Owl, 0.1 (1); Merlin, 0.1 (1); American Crow, 0.1 (1); Golden-crowned Kinglet, 0.1 (1); Hermit Thrush, 0.1 (1); Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler, 0.1 (1); Swamp Sparrow, 0.1 (1).

Total: 42 species; 233.7 ind./visit.

Remarks: A brutal winter, with long stretches of below-freezing (often below zero) temperatures and which should end up the second snowiest in Detroit’s history. Still, two new species were added this year: Purple Finch and Red-breasted Merganser, bringing the cumulative species total for 22 years to 75.

Blog post here.

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