SoRensCo 2021 results

Naomi Lloyd

The 54th annual Southern Rensselaer CBC took place on a relatively pleasant day with temps at and above freezing, with no precipitation. The lingering mild weather ensured that most water was open, causing waterfowl to spread out. Lack of snow meant birds were not driven to road edges.

22 participants in seven field parties, plus one feeder watcher, spent the day day logging 66 species and 16,302 individual birds. That's well above our 10-year average of 57 species and is the second-highest count on record. We had no owling hours this time, but one observer had Great-horned Owls calling in their yard after dark.

As expected our highest individual numbers were of American Crow and European Starling. We had none of our winter passerines (Snow Bunting, Horned Lark, Pine Siskin etc) while Sparrow numbers in general were low except for Dark-eyed Juncos, with Swamp Sparrow seen in one sector. Black Vultures continue their strong winter roost move into the area, while a few Turkey Vultures lingered as well.

Raptors gave a strong showing with Cooper's Hawk outnumbering Sharpies again. All three Falcons were seen. Most notable sighting was a probable Broad-winged Hawk headed south in a hurry!

Saddest miss was a Cape May Warbler that frequented a feeder in Poestenkill for several weeks, last seen before count week and not since. Other occasional wintering birds we missed were Gray Catbird and Rusty Blackbird.

Thank you to all participants! The 2022 SoRensCo count will be held on Saturday December 24, and with luck we'll be able to meet for our annual compilation dinner.

Naomi Lloyd
Southern Rensselaer CBC compiler