Today was the annual Christmas Bird Count in Hudson – it’s been done each your for over 70 years but has only had the benefit of our contributions for about 15.
Very mild day with temperatures hovering around zero but the snow was quite deep and has a thick, hard crust on it making life difficult for a number of birds that rely on access to food on the ground which is probably the reason that for almost the first year on our census route we saw no Snow Buntings. At the count afterwards most people were commenting on the low number of species and individual birds. Hard going, in fcat one of the hardest counts we can remember.
We did, however, winkle out a couple of Wild Turkeys and had two Snowy Owls. This is a mega year for Snowies all over the continent though and it looks like the count for the full CBC circle will be exceptionally high. Ours were perched on the top of barns for all to see.
Too many tidy farmers and well-sealed barns to provide food for wildlife, not enough houses with feeders and those that do have them tend not to fill them and give little thought to their optimum placement.