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Bird lovers in the two Saults saw more than 8,000 birds of nearly 60 species in their annual pre-Christmas count, which has taken place annually since the 1950s.
The 2022 edition of the Sault Ste. Marie Bird Count took place Dec. 17.
In total, 55 field observers and 37 feeder watchers collectively counted 8,677 total birds for 58 different species, the Sault Naturalists said.
Notable birds found included Harlequin Duck, Common Goldeneye x Hooded Merganser hybrid, Horned Grebe, Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Northern Flicker, Boreal Chickadee, White-throated Sparrow, and White-crowned Sparrow.
The five most abundant species were European Starling (1,603), Black-capped Chickadee (1,405), Mallard (1,041), Rock Pigeon (998), and Herring Gull (670).
New high counts were set for Hooded Merganser (93), Red-bellied Woodpecker (22), Pileated Woodpecker (47), and White-breasted Nuthatch (91).
Started in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count is North America's longest-running citizen science project.
Counts happen in more than 2,000 localities throughout the Western Hemisphere.
The information collected by thousands of volunteer participants forms one of the world's largest sets of wildlife survey data.
The results are used daily by conservation biologists and naturalists to assess the population trends and distribution of birds throughout North America.
This was the 67th annual Christmas Bird Count to take place in Sault Ste. Marie, which includes both border cities.
Organizers thanked everyone who volunteered their time to participate in this year’s count, including Carter Dorscht for organizing the count and compiling the data.
The full results can be accessed on the Sault Naturalists’ website here.
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Hawk-eyed bird fans spot nearly 60 species in Christmas count – SooToday