A total of 153 red-tailed hawks were spotted in the region during the annual Christmas bird count.

A total of 153 red-tailed hawks were spotted in the region during the annual Christmas bird count.

Annual Christmas bird count takes flight

The 2012 annual Christmas Bird count was the 113th count for Canada and the 63rd for the Vernon area and was held Dec. 16.

Peter Blokker

Special to The Morning Star

The 2012 annual Christmas Bird count was the 113th count for Canada and the 63rd for the Vernon area and was held Dec. 16.

The weather co-operated with moderate temperatures.

About 50 people took part in addition to feederwatchers who phoned in their observations.

We want to thank everybody who participated and also people who kindly allowed access to their backyards.

A total of 24,335 birds of 98 species were counted. More than the last few years.

Notable this year was the large number of birds of prey, especially the many red-tailed hawks.

Also more owls were found than most years, with eight short-eared owls and a barn owl being noteworthy.

Unusual, also, was a golden-crowned sparrow. This is only the second or third sighting ever during the count.

The list of birds seen:

3,130 Canada Goose

8 Trumpeter Swan

24 Gadwall

43 American Wigeon

3,334 Mallard

58 Northern Shoveler

1 Northern Pintail

5 Green-winged Teal

160 Redhead

2 Greater Scaup

45 Lesser Scaup

20 Bufflehead

33 Common Goldeneye

14 Barrow’s Goldeneye

84 Hooded Merganser

378 Common Merganser

1 Red-breasted Merganser

5 Gray Partridge

66 Ring-necked Pheasant

1,127 California Quail

3 Common Loon

13 Pied-billed Grebe

19 Horned Grebe

8 Red-necked Grebe

5 Western Grebe

11 Great Blue Heron

55 Bald Eagle

52 Northern Harrier

11 Sharp-shinned Hawk

13 Cooper’s Hawk

2 Northern Goshawk

153 Red-tailed Hawk

45 Rough-legged Hawk

3 Golden Eagle

19 American Kestrel

12 Merlin

1 Peregrine Falcon

2 Virginia Rail

891 American Coot

3 Killdeer

3 Wilson’s Snipe

228 Ring-billed Gull

55 California Gull

72 Herring Gul

2 Thayer’s Gull

9 Glaucous-winged Gull

2 Glaucous Gull

184 Rock Pigeon

198 Eurasian Collared Dove

552 Mourning Dove

1 Barn Owl

4 Great Horned Owl

1 Northern Pygmy Owl

1 Barred Owl

8 Short-eared Owl

8 Belted Kingfisher

23 Downy Woodpecker

6 Hairy Woodpecker

267 Northern Flicker

6 Pileated Woodpecker

10 Northern Shrike

12 Steller’s Jay

5 Clark’s Nutcracker

447 Black-billed Magpie

330 American Crow

249 Common Raven

408 Black-capped Chickadee

16 Mountain Chickadee

3 Chestnut-backed Chickadee

55 Red-breasted Nuthatch

4 White-breasted Nuthatch

44 Pygmy Nuthatch

2 Brown Creeper

1 Marsh Wren

12 Golden-crowned Kinglet

26 Townsend’s Solitaire

298 American Robin

2,480 European Starling

3,700 Bohemian Waxwing

4 Spotted Towhee

11 American Tree Sparrow

191 Song Sparrow

2 White-throated Sparrow

29 White-crowned Sparrow

1 Golden-crowned Sparrow

660 Dark-eyed Junco

740 Red-winged Blackbird

11 Brewer’s Blackbird

110 Pine Grosbeak

1 Cassin’s Finch

1150 House Finch

4 Red Crossbill

9 White-winged Crossbill

180 Common Redpoll

490 Pine Siskin

330 American Goldfinch

3 Evening Grosbeak

800 House Sparrow