Journal archives for January 2022

January 01, 2022

My 2021 Birding Year

Year Total: 305
Life List: 349

Best Month: May -- 178 species
Worst Month: February -- 93 species

State Stats -- State and Life

Oregon -- 283 year -- 304 life
Idaho -- 174 year -- 240 life
Washington -- 160 year -- 273 life
Utah -- 89 year -- 127 life
Montana -- 36 year -- 245 life

New Counties Visited:

Oregon -- Coos, Tillamook, Yamhill, Douglas, Clackamas
Idaho -- Bannock
Washington -- Okanogan, Skamania, Chelan
Utah -- David, Weber

Memorable Moments of 2020:
April 14 -- On a guided tour on private land, I got to see my life Sharp-tailed Grouse in Weiser, Idaho.
May 1 -- Found my life Neotropic Cormorant in the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah.
June 1 -- Heard my life Mountain Quail in the Elkhorn Mountains, Oregon.
July 25 -- Found my life Red Phalarope at Mann Lake, Idaho.
August 11 -- Found my life Wandering Tattler at the La Grande Sewage Ponds, Oregon. First county record.
August 23 -- Found my life Green Heron at the Hood River Delta, Oregon.
August 23 -- Found my 2nd life Red Phalarope at the Hood River Delta, Oregon.
September 12 -- Found my life Great Crested Flycatcher at Montour Wildlife Management Area, Idaho
September 26 -- Found my 3rd life Red Phalarope at the La Grande Sewage Ponds, Oregon. This self-found rarity was a 2nd county report!
September 27 -- Found my life Little Gull in McNary National Wildlife Refuge, Washington.
October 4 -- Possibly heard my life Boreal Chickadee at Sherman Pass, Washington.
October 6 -- Found my life Ancient Murrelet at the La Grande Sewage Ponds, Oregon. First county record.
October 23 -- Found my life Emperor Goose in Beaverton, Oregon.
October 24 -- Found my life Northern Fulmar in Newport, Oregon. The storm surge might've cancelled my pelagic trip, but the storm brought the pelagic birds to shore.
October 24 -- Found my life Red-throated Loon and heard my life Wrentit at Seal Rocks and Ona Beach, Oregon. I unfortunately couldn't photograph or record either of them.
October 25 -- Found my life Rhinoceros Auklet in Klootchman State Park, Oregon.
October 25 -- Found my life Brown Booby in Coos Bay, Oregon.

Posted on January 01, 2022 06:34 AM by birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 02, 2022

Final Summary

That's all folks, it is now January, and this project has officially come to its conclusion. In the course of six months, we fell just a few observations shy of the 1,200 marks. It is still a record-breaking year though, more participation than ever. Here a few stats from this year and you can compare them to the other two years I've done this project. Thank you all for your help and support!

Top 5 Species (December):

  1. Red-tailed Hawk -- 113 obs
  2. Rough-legged Hawk -- 35 obs
  3. Bald Eagle -- 29 obs
  4. Northern Harrier -- 22 obs
  5. American Kestrel -- 14 obs

Top 5 Species (Overall):

  1. Red-tailed Hawk -- 451 obs
  2. Bald Eagle -- 89 obs (+2 from last month; +2 from last year)
  3. American Kestrel -- 80 obs (-1 from last month; +2 from last year)
  4. Northern Harrier -- 65 obs (+4 from last month; +4 from last year)
  5. Turkey Vulture -- 62 obs (-2 from last month; +4 from last year)
  6. Rough-legged Hawk -- 62 obs (+5 from last month; +4 from last year)
  7. Great Horned Owl -- 62 obs (-1 from last month)
  8. Osprey -- 54 obs (-3 from last month; -5 from last year)
  9. Swainson's Hawk -- 44 obs (-2 from last month; -7 from last year)
  10. Golden Eagle -- 34 obs (-1 from last month; +1 from last year)
  11. Sharp-shinned Hawk -- 34 obs (-1 from last month; +2 from last year)
  12. Cooper's Hawk -- 31 obs (-6 from last year)
  13. Merlin -- 17 obs (-1 from last year)
  14. Prairie Falcon -- 16 obs (+1 from last year)
  15. Ferruginous Hawk -- 11 obs (+1 from last year)
  16. Barn Owl -- 10 obs (+3 from last month; +6 from last year)
  17. Red-shouldered Hawk -- 8 obs (-1 from last month; +6 from last year)
  18. Barred Owl -- 8 obs (-4 from last year)
  19. Peregrine Falcon -- 7 obs (-2 from last month; -2 from last year)
  20. Northern Goshawk -- 6 obs (+1 from last month)
  21. Northern Pygmy-Owl -- 6 obs (-1 from last month; -3 from last year)
  22. Great Gray Owl -- 6 obs (+5 from last year)
  23. Northern Saw-whet Owl -- 6 obs (-4 from last year)
  24. Western Screech-Owl -- 4 obs (-3 from last year)
  25. Broad-winged Hawk -- 3 obs (+4 from last year)
  26. Long-eared Owl -- 3 obs (-1 from last year)
  27. Short-eared Owl -- 3 obs (+1 from last month; -1 from last year)
  28. Burrowing Owl -- 2 obs (-1 from last month; -4 from last year)
  29. Flammulated Owl -- 1 obs (-1 from last year)

Total Species Observed: 29

Species Missed and Comments:
We missed 6 species for the project. I know through eBird reports or my own birding attempts that we should've gotten at least three of them, but that is not to be. Here's the ones we let slip past.

White-tailed Kite: Though I have this species on the list of raptors that can be seen within the project perimeters, there's only three confirmed reports in history, all of which were 20+ years ago. This is by far the hardest species to find.

Snowy Owl: I looked; I swear. eBird evidence is proving that this is an irruption year for winter raptors, something that hasn't happened since 2012, so we should be getting Snowy Owls. There was a report for one on private property in Umatilla, Oregon and one was photographed in Pasco, not none of those reporters use iNat.

Northern Hawk-Owl: This is certainly a tough species for anyone. The only realistic chance you have of finding one is going to the northernmost counties in Washington, hoping one might be visible in the many mountain meadows.

Spotted Owl: You need to know someone if you're going to find one within the project's perimeters.

Boreal Owl: Technically, I got one in the Blue Mountains. I went owling in what I had believed to be absolutely perfect habitat and I got him to sing and skew twice, then he was silent. I didn't have enough time to get a recording. I got some birding friends looking for it afterwards, everyone who went also heard it, except one, but even they couldn't record it.

Gyrfalcon: There was one seen. The Wallowa individual has returned for like the fifth winter in a row and several people to see it. I was suppose to go and see it last Monday but plans were cancelled last minute because I was needed in Twin Falls.

Many raptor species have smaller populations with field identifiable traits. In the case of our project, many species have a subspecies along the coast and one for everywhere east of the Cascades. This comprises what subspecies each species seems to belong to, excluding species with only one possible subspecies in our region.

Northern Sharp-shinned Hawk (ssp velox) -- 34
Queen Charlotte Sharp-shinned Hawk (ssp perobscurus) -- 0

Western Red-tailed Hawk (ssp calurus) -- 439
Harlan's Hawk (ssp harlani) -- 12
Northern Red-tailed Hawk (ssp abieticola) -- 1
Eastern Red-tailed Hawk (ssp borealis) -- 0

California Red-shouldered Hawk (ssp elegans) -- 8
Eastern Red-shouldered Hawk (ssp lineatus -- 0

Taiga Merlin (ssp. columbarius) -- 16
Prairie Merlin (ssp. richardsoni) -- 0
Black Merlin (ssp. sickleyii) -- 1

Northwestern Great Horned Owl (ssp. lagophonus) -- 0
Great Basin Great Horned Owl (ssp. pinorum) -- 0
Western Great Horned Owl (ssp. lagophonus **or* pinorum)* -- 47
Dusky Great Horned Owl (ssp. saturatus) -- 0
Pale Great Horned Owl (ssp. subarcticus) -- 0

Pacific Northern Pygmy-Owl (ssp. californicum) -- 4
*Rocky Mountains Pygmy-Owl (ssp. pinicola) -- 0
*Pacific/Rocky Mountains Pygmy-Owl (ssp. californicum **or
* pinicola*) -- 2

Top 5 Observers By Observations:

  1. birdwhisperer -- 464 obs
  2. @the-catfinch -- 72 obs
  3. @cgates326 -- 59 obs
  4. @masonmaron -- 55 obs
  5. @andybridges -- 40 obs

Top 5 Observers By Species:

  1. birdwhisperer -- 20 species
  2. cgates326 -- 14 species
  3. @jnelson -- 13 species
  4. @philkahler -- 12 species
  5. masonmaron -- 11 species

Counties Missed: Only one county out of the 38 in our region did not get an observation; Columbia, Washington.

Final Comments:
I really appreciate the help everyone has provided to make this project such a success. We broke some records and I hope the data we produced will not only help iNat in the long run but also any other parties looking for information on our reports. And hopefully with the more year to year data we got, the more we can understand what's going on around us.

Observation of the Week goes to cgates326 for a juvenile Bald Eagle. Not much to say, our national symbol, just not in adult plumage. It's a beautiful bird, nevertheless. Observation of the Month, I'm nominating myself to show a nice adult Red-tailed Hawk.

As we move forward, I hope we can get more people to join iNat and continue building our raptor numbers in the offseason. The more, the better. I also say this because this might be the last time, I'm doing this project. I'm sending off applications to colleges and if I get accepted into my top choice, I'm going to be living several states away. The chances of a 2022 survey are going to be low unless someone volunteers to take over for me.

In conclusion, I'm really proud of this project and those who have helped. I wish you all a happy new year and that your 2022 will not be as crazy as the last couple of years.

Sean Cozart -- birdwhisperer

Posted on January 02, 2022 04:02 AM by birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 0 comments | Leave a comment