WCAS Christmas Bird Count
December 29, 2013

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

06:45  to 16:00

90 Participants


By Nancy Howell, Compiler – Lakewood Circle nhowell@cmnh.org  216-231-4600 ext. 3225

Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society  www.wcasohio.org

The 2013 Christmas Bird Count for the Lakewood Circle had fabulous groups of birders scouring the area. From professionals to beginners, all eyes scanning and ears listening provided a terrific list of 83 species on the day of the count. No snow on the ground, temperatures in the lower 40’s, overcast skies and a light drizzle to showers provided an unwinterlike count. Visibility was fairly good and wind was virtually non existent.

Lake Erie and moving waters, such as rivers and streams were open. Smaller lakes and ponds were iced over due to the cold weather earlier in December. Many shrubs and trees produced copious amounts of fruit whether it was seed or berries. It was harder to determine the seed production of forbs and grasses. All in all a great day with great coverage of the count circle thanks to all of the participants.

Every year as lists come in, it is interesting to see what surprises are out there and found. The evidence this year that Snowy Owls have come south in great numbers was verified on the Lakewood Count. The list of 87 species (83 species on count day and 4 during count week) is fantastic. As of January 6, 2014, with all lists accounted for, the following is the results of the 2013 Lakewood Circle (OH) Christmas Bird Count. Following the species/numbers list is commentary on what was especially noted, and lastly the list of participants.

Count week species are in italics, rare or unusual species are bold.

1.   Canada Goose                  1294   

2.   Ross’s Goose                      cw     

  1. Trumpeter Swan                  2


  1. Mallard                              1482                     
  2. American Black Duck          63
  3. Wood  Duck                          5
  4. Redhead                             611    
  5. Canvasback                         56
  6. Ring-necked Duck                 1
  7. Greater Scaup                       4 
  8. Lesser Scaup                      608

12. White-winged Scoter          5

  1. BlackScoter                         9
  2. Surf Scoter                           6
  3. Bufflehead                            58            
  4. Common Goldeneye           575

17. Long-tailed Duck                 3

  1. Red-breasted Merganser   4695
  2. Hooded Merganser              5  
  3. Common Merganser           44  
  4. Ruddy Duck                        50


  1. Wild Turkey                         cw


  1. Common Loon                      3                    
  2. Horned Grebe                      54                    
  3. Pied-billed Grebe                  1
  4. Double-crested Cormorant  13             
  5. Great Blue Heron                 17


  1. Bald Eagle                            8                 
  2. Northern Harrier                 1               
  3. Cooper’s Hawk                    15             
  4. Red-tailed Hawk                  38              
  5. Red-shouldered Hawk          7
  6. Rough-legged Hawk           2  
  7. American Kestrel                  6           
  8. Merlin                                   1
  9. Peregrine Falcon                  5


  1. American Coot                      5          
  2. Ring-billed Gull                  8427  
  3. Herring Gull                        769
  4. Great Black-backed Gull      95
  5. Lesser Black-backed Gull  2
  6. Iceland Gull                          1
  7. Bonaparte’s Gull                    6


  1. Rock Pigeon                        166
  2. Mourning Dove                    317 
  3. Great Horned Owl                  4    
  4. Barred Owl                             2    
  5. Eastern Screech Owl             1
  6. Snowy Owl                           10
  7. Short-eared Owl                    1         
  8. Belted Kingfisher                     8


  1. Red-headed Woodpecker       5  
  2. Red-bellied Woodpecker       111   
  3. Downy Woodpecker              102    
  4. Hairy Woodpecker                  31
  5. Northern Flicker                       8       
  6. Pileated Woodpecker              4


  1. Northern Shrike                     1
  2. American Crow                       89       
  3. Blue Jay                                408
  4. Horned Lark                           cw


  1. Black-capped Chickadee   216
  2. Tufted Titmouse                  65  
  3. White-breasted Nuthatch    87   
  4. Red-breasted Nuthatch        3    
  5. Brown Creeper                     5                    
  6. Carolina Wren                     34
  7. Golden-crowned Kinglet      19
  8. Ruby-crowned Kinglet       3


  1. Eastern Bluebird                    9           
  2. American Robin                 1023         
  3. Northern Mockingbird            6         
  4. European Starling              1770 
  5. Cedar Waxwing                     2 


  1. American Tree Sparrow      134       
  2. Song Sparrow                       38      
  3. Swamp Sparrow                    2       
  4. White-throated Sparrow        30      
  5. Dark-eyed Junco                 369


  1. Lapland Longspur                 cw              
  2. Snow Bunting                      29                     
  3. Northern Cardinal                206          
  4. Red-winged Blackbird        80      
  5. Common Grackle                 6      
  6. House Finch                         229


  1. American Goldfinch              287  
  2. House Sparrow                   959                 


With Lake Erie unfrozen and inland lakes and ponds ice covered, waterfowl species and numbers varied. The count week Ross’s Goose hung out with a flock of Canada Geese on Lake Erie. Two Trumpeter Swans, seen by experienced birders along the western portion of the count circle on Lake Erie, did not have neck bands were a nice find. No unusual dabbling ducks were sighted. Diving and big water ducks, while down in the numbers of some species, also held nice surprises. Only one Ring-necked Duck was spotted. All three species of scoter (Black, White-winged and Surf) were seen as well as Long-tailed Duck. The three species of mergansers were tallied this year, but the number of Red-breasted Mergansers is lower than some years. Are the lower numbers due to the lake being open, hence the birds spread out?  Other water birds, like the Common Loon and a good number of Horned Grebe as well as a flock of Double-crested Cormorants rounded out the list.

Wild Turkey were missed on count day, but were picked up during count week.

A nice list of raptors including Northern Harrier and Rough-legged Hawk, not always found in this count circle, attests to the great job done by the birding groups. All three species of falcon (American Kestrel, Merlin and Peregrine) was a good trifecta.

Lower numbers of Ring-billed, Herring and Bonaparte’s Gulls again may have been due to the open waters of Lake Erie. Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a single Iceland Gull were picked out of the gull flocks and made nice additions to the list.

A couple of owl species we normally do not get on this count, Snowy and Short-eared were found. Snowy Owl numbers were largest at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport with eight being reported from that location alone and two others elsewhere. The Short-eared Owl was in at Lake Abrams (northern part of the Cleveland Metropark’s Lake to Lake Trail), a good sized wetland area which is surrounded by weedy fields and light industry industrial parks.


Nearly all species of woodpeckers were tallied and some relatively high numbers of Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers. Are the trees killed by Emerald Ash Borer beetles or the beetle larvae sustaining these higher numbers? Something to watch for? A single Northern Shrike at Hopkins airport was a good find.


Red-breasted Nuthatch were hard to find in 2013 but a couple of groups located some. Golden-crowned Kinglets were in larger numbers than most years and a couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets made a good addition. A few Eastern Bluebirds and two Cedar Waxwings brightened up the list. Many years these species are missing. Big numbers of American Robins and European Starling were tallied. The starlings are not a surprise but the robins may have remained in good numbers due to ornamental fruiting trees and shrubs upon which they were feeding. The number of Northern Mockingbirds remains steady.  


Sparrow species were typical of what is generally found in the count circle. Numbers are interesting with another year of a low number of Swamp Sparrows. American Tree Sparrow and Dark-eyed Juncos were abundant. The Lapland Longspur, along with Horned Lark, were good for count week. Snow Bunting were noted for a second year in a row.


A higher number of Red - winged Blackbirds and a few Common Grackles were good additions. Some may wonder, why get excited about these blackbird species? They don’t generally hang out in our area in the winter, but access to wetland areas where the birds roost may be allowing groups to increasingly locate them.


None of the northern finches were found this year, but American Goldfinch were fairly abundant. 



Thanks go out to all of the following who birded by car, on foot, watched feeders, did some owling, etc.  Apologies to those who I may have missed despite looking over the lists again and again (also – apologies for misspelled names – I sometimes need to be a handwriting analyst!)


Jay Abercrombie, Lynne Albert, Alison Ball, Ken and Lois Ballas, Buster Banish, Mary Bartos, Kit Birch, Kathleen Bradley, Nancy Brewer, Erik Bruder, Jen Brumfield, John Bucher, Marti Burrows, Craig Caldwell, Lee  and Sue Cavano, Frank Comodeca, Barb Cromer, Bill Deininger, David Dvorak, Mark Eberling, Maria and Rick Finchum, Bob Finkelstein, Tom Fishburn, Ann and Mary Gilmore, Joanne and Terry Gorges, Miron Gotfryd, Kurt Grenig, Sharon Hanse, Jim Heflich, Heather Hodges, Jan Holkenborg, Nancy and Don Howell, Mary Lou Hura, Andy Jones, Anna Julnes, Lothar and Inge Jung, Rich and Karen Kassouf, Patty Kellner, Tom Kosicki, Jeff and Marian Kraus, JoAnn Kubicki, Duane Kurapka, Ray Kutnar, Craig Limpach, Kellie Lister, Fred Losi, Paula Lozano, Michelle Manzo, Terri Martincic, Bret and Jim McCarty, Liz McQuaid, Aaron Milenski, Gary Newman, Penny O’Connor, Donna Owen, Michael Pasek, Earl and Martha Peck, Elza Phillips, Chris Pierce, Jan Ranahan, Marty Reynard, Tom and Mary Anne Romito, Larry Rosche, Robert and Andrea Segedi, Linda Sekura, Judy Semroc, Mark Shaver, Nicolas Shayko, Paul Sherwood, Chuck Slusarczyk, Jr., Jessie St. Christopher, Helen Taft, Jeanne Utter, Bev Walborn, Gerry Wesley, Julie West and John Wincek.


During the day
Robin by Tom Fishburn
American Robin © Tom Fishburn

Bill Kelli Andy
Bill, Kelli, Andy © Tom Fishburn

Song Sparrow by Tom Fishburn
Song Sparrow © Tom Fishburn

Ice at Rocky River
Ice at Rocky River © Tom Fishburn
Jan, Kit, Ken © Penny O'Connor

At the Evening Dinner

CBC Cake © Penny O'Connor

Donna and Chuck
Donna & Chuck © Penny O'Connor

Nancy and Chris
Nancy & Chris © Penny O'Connor

Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society, 4310 Bush Ave, Cleveland, OH 44109 info@wcasohio.org