I have completed data entry to National Audubon. The Rockford Count concluded with 70 species and 19,601 individual birds. In addition to the 70 species seen on count day (12/15) the following were seen in the count week period, which is three days before and three days after the count day: Common Merganser, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Eurasian Tree Sparrow. We recorded 1 new species for the count: Sandhill Crane. New highs were seen for the following species (with the number in parentheses after the bird name): Cooper’s Hawk (17), Snowy Owl (1-tie), Barred Owl (16-tie), Northern Shrike (7), Carolina Wren (3-tie), Cedar Waxwing (246), Savannah Sparrow (5), Northern Cardinal (769), Brewer’s Blackbird (2), and American Goldfinch (627).

As I mentioned in my preliminary report, our counters could not find Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, or Lapland Longspur. Waterfowl numbers were very low due to the lack of open water and the snow cover. The snow cover undoubtedly accounted for the high numbers of birds attracted to feeders, such as Northern Cardinal and American Goldfinch. The siskins and redpolls were only found at feeders. The snow conditions probably kept the number of Horned Larks, Snow Buntings, and Lapland Longspurs low because the road shoulders were not yet plowed and they had no place to pick up grit and seeds that made them easily visible.

This is a big year for Northern Shrikes throughout northern IL, and our 7 is probably 1 or 2 short of what birds are actually in the count circle. For instance, we found one on Sunday in our territory that wasn’t near that spot on Saturday.

The Snowy Owl was a nice find, and represents only the second time that species has been seen on the Rockford count. Sandhill Crane was only a count week bird previously. A complete list of the species list and numbers can be found at the Audubon website www.audubon.org/bird/cbc I will be mailing out the species list to the participants with the totals of the Kishwaukee count, which will be held tomorrow, 12/29.

Thank you to all who participated. I really appreciate your efforts and assistance.