This Year’s Christmas Birds

I have been gone but I am back. This time I want to write about a Christmas bird count, sponsored by Sacajewea Audubon, the bird club based in Bozeman, Montana; bird count number 10 for me.
These birds that we observe are considered a part of the citizens science initiative and they are telling us if certain bird species have extended their range, usually to the north and these range extensions are showing us troubling correlations between timing and birds…a potentially global climate related trouble spot for birds.
Most recently (December 18th) I went on a count led by former Sacajewea president Peter Norlander, a good guy with simular birding interests to this author.
We saw a lot of birds of prey, a favorite of mine…
We saw about 20 Red-tailed Hawks, including Harlan’s phas and the Krider’s phase. We saw about 30 Rough-legged Hawks. 10 Bald Eagles, 1 Golden Eagle, 3 Merlins, and a Cooper’s Hawk. Also of interest to me were wild Turkey’s, Wood Duck and a Northern Shrike.
We joked about how cold it was and so forth…what a fun day and we saw a lot of hawks so I was happy…I usually am when in nature…

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