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Bird Counts


The Silver City CBC covers a 15 mile diameter circle centered on the Silver City golf course. All levels of expertise are welcome, plus there is a need for drivers, recorders and feeder counters. Want to participate? Please contact compiler, John Gorey:  johnpgorey@gmail.com. Reports can be mailed to John Gorey, PO Box 5071, Silver City NM 88062.

What We Learn From the CBC

On December 25, 1900, Frank Chapman published the results of the humble CBC beginnings —27 people tallied birds and their combined effort in 25 locations across the continent. Probably it would be unfathomable to him that a “Christmas Bird Census” would last well over a century, and grow to cover the entire Western Hemisphere and beyond.

The full 2020 centivintennial count drew a record-breaking 81,601 observers including 40 new count circles. But while humans were out in full force, it is both surprising and worrisome that the total number of birds tallied last season dropped to 42,704,077 birds, around six million birds lower than the previous year. We cannot help but wonder what’s going on and what might be the cause. The value of CBC results is the opportunity for ongoing analysis, monitoring species groups, numbers of birds, the total effort each season and to see where the largest declines happen. Curious how all of this data fits together? Check out the CBC Trends Viewer! from American Birds/National Audubon Society.

Silver City 2020 — 121st Christmas Bird Count - Results

More time was spent on our routes in 2020. Due to COVID we had fewer people on the routes so our total effort was lower.

Complete Count Information → CBC Report 2020 (PDF)
Total species: 106 (highest on record!) 89 in 2019
Total # of individual birds: 7490 (avg across all years = 5100) 5729 in 2019

JANUARY 3, 2021

Centered in Riverside, along the Gila River near Cliff.

Linda Moore, Compiler - raptors.linda@yahoo.com

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Gila River CBC. This year our observers had multiple obstacles to overcome, the COVID situation and an unpleasant 13 degrees at the start. Observations can be difficult when your eyes are watering from the cold, but the count participants persevered through it all.

Dutifully documenting all avian species present along our route we came upon a scenario of immense ramification. Silently, we track closer so as not to cause a disturbance. We could not believe our luck! After the initial excitement subsided we got down to work recording, creeping closer, maintaining complete silence, we noticed our subjects were behaving uncharacteristically. One was swimming erratically back & forth with its distal end weaving in the water. Another individual with curved neck in the water had not come up for air during our observation. Another remained in an unnatural preening position. Still another never moved away from the shore. Silently, this unholy riparian scenario before us began to register. We had been hoodwinked! Before us were numerous decoys of different species bobbing in the current!

Fortunately, fake birds were outnumbered by real ones. Last year was my first as a CBC compiler, and we recorded 77 species. This year that number increased dramatically to 101 species! Last year there was a total of 1655 individuals, this year 4566 individuals, which indicates little, but is great to see. Unusual species observed this year were a Golden-crowned Sparrow, a Ruddy Ground Dove, and two Long-billed Dowitchers.

JANUARY 16, 17, 18, 2021
(Martin Luther King weekend)

If interested in participating, please contact Linda Moore at raptors.linda@yahoo.com by January 3.

NOVEMBER 14, 2020 — APRIL 9, 2021

The FeederWatch season always begins the second Saturday in November and runs for 21 weeks, harnessing the power of backyard bird watchers to track trends among winter birds. While we are all thrilled by unusual sightings and high counts, it’s the everyday observations of common birds that are so important for monitoring bird populations. Want to be a Feeder Watcher? Visit www.feederwatch.org.

FEBRUARY 12 - 15, 2021

greatbackyardbirdcountBird watchers of all ages count birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are Participants simply watch birds at any location for at least 15 minutes on any day in a four-day time span, tally the numbers of each species they see, and report their tallies online at BirdCount.org. Portions of the GBBC site are also now available in Spanish at ContandoAves.org . Anyone anywhere in the world with Internet access can participate. Anyone visiting the GBBC website will be able to see bird observations pouring in from around the world and contribute their own tallies. Global participation will be made possible thanks to eBird, a real-time online checklist program.  The GBBC is open to anyone of any skill level and welcomes bird observations from any location, including backyards, national parks, gardens, wetlands, and urban landscapes. The four-day count typically receives sightings from tens of thousands of people reporting more than 600 bird species in the United States and Canada alone.

November 18-21, 2020

The annual Crane Festival in Bosque del Apache near Socorro, NM offers a variety of events; tours, classes, hikes, horseback rides, photography classes, wildlife art show and exhibits. Family Fun during Festival of the Cranes weekend is a free event, no reservations required. More information → www.festivalofthecranes.com.

eBird Pro Tip: Bird Counting 101

Have trouble counting birds, especially large numbers? We all do. Find out everything you need to learn how to count with confidence - Bird Counting 101

NM Winter Raptor Count
January 18, 2020
Nine teams of raptor enthusiasts identified and counted as many raptors as possible on 10 routes, driving over 1300 miles, in 63 hours produced 13 species & 295 individual birds.

Northern Harrier 20; Coopers Hawk 7; Red-tailed Hawk 182; Ferruginous Hawk 9; Bald Eagle 4; Golden Eagle 5; American Kestrel 59; Prairie Falcon 1; Merlin 3; Peregrine Falcon 1; Raptor species 1; Great Horned Owl 2; Turkey Vulture 1.

Next year's dates: January 16, 17, 18, 2021
Linda Moore, Compiler

2016 - 2017 SILVER CITY

By Roland Shook
→ Read the Report

1997 - 2015 SILVER CITY