It was close, but for the fifth year in a row Clearwater retained top place in Canada for checklists submitted to the Great Backyard Bird Count! London, Ontario, our closest competitor was only 30 lists behind Clearwater as we submitted 273 checklists, 81 less than last year’s record.
Clearwater just missed the top 10 for checklists in North America at 12th place. We counted the most individual birds for black-capped chickadees and hairy woodpeckers; second most for common raven and pileated woodpecker; managing to get in the top 10 for 14 species.
The most individual birds of a species counted in Clearwater were common redpolls (1329) followed by black-capped chickadees (1156), common ravens (870), pine siskins (705), and evening grosbeaks (388).
Though Clearwater’s total for individual birds was down, three species were added to our tally over the previous years: green-winged teal, golden-crowned sparrow, and rusty blackbird. Clearwater was the only B.C. locality to report the Rustys, which are very rare in winter in B.C. and on the Species At Risk list.
A sharp decline in American goldfinches occurred as numbers were down from a record 853 last year to only eight birds this year. Clearwater may be the only locality in B.C. experiencing this, as the provincial decline was less than our loss. North America actually had an increase of about 17,000.
Appreciation for promoting the event goes to Forest House, Home Hardware, Friendship Soup Publications, RONA, the Times, and especially Clearwater Library, which put up a display about Clearwater’s GBBC years and handed out material for this year.
Many thanks to the participants that enabled Clearwater to retain top place in Canada again.