6th Annual Uppgaard WMA Christmas Bird Count

Jan. 13, 2017 — The 6th Annual Uppgaard WMA Christmas Bird Count was held on December 31, 2016.  The count circle has a 15 mile radius centered at Ideal Corners and covers much of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway.  Other areas included Breezy Point, Crosslake and Pequot Lakes.  The Uppgaard Wildlife Management Area (WMA) which the count is named after has always been an area of interest but due to recent logging it wasn’t surveyed.

Count results and summary
The Uppgaard CBC had a total of 9 participants and 2 feeder watchers who counted from home. Had a new participant who drove all the way from Bemidji to help this year.  The weather conditions were colder than last year with a starting temperature of only 8 degrees and clear skies with light winds.  This year’s count added 2 new species White-winged Crossbill (8) and Wooduck (1). One of the new birds added last year was Red Crossbill both species are uncommon for our area.  This year total species was 28 compared to 34 last year but the open water contributed to that total.  The total number of birds was still impressive at 813 despite the weather and having a few less participants. I think this year’s count had a good variety of birds with White-winged Crossbill being a nice surprise. A new high count for Hairy Woodpecker and Pileated Woodpecker was also recorded during this year’s count.

American Crow-(54), American Goldfinch-(20), Bald Eagle-(5), Barred Owl-(1), (CW) Black-capped Chickadee-(357), Blue Jay-(32), Common Merganser-(1), Common Raven-(19), Dark-eyed Junco-(3), Downy Woodpecker-(33), Hairy Woodpecker-(30), Hooded Merganser-(2), House Sparrow-(33), Mallard-(12), Northern Cardinal-(4), Northern Shrike-(1), Pileated Woodpecker-(20), Red-bellied Woodpecker-(13), Red-breasted Nuthatch-(24), Red Crossbill-(25), Red-tailed Hawk-(2), Rock Dove-(4), Ruffed Grouse-(4), Trumpeter Swan-(22), White-breasted Nuthatch-(58),*White-winged Crossbill-(8), Wild Turkey-(26), and *Woodduck-(1).
*= new species

Thanks to all the participants who helped count birds for fun and for science during the bird count.  Please visit Audubon.org to find the complete results from across the country and to find out how to participate.  Happy Birding!   — Judd Brink, bird guide/owner, MN Backyard Birds & BirdMinnesota.com