By John L. Trapp
The 122nd Christmas Bird Count (CBC) produced stellar results in Michigan, perhaps helped by relatively mild winter weather throughout the period of the count. Data was gathered from 75 circles, including 14 in the Upper Peninsula (UP), 25 in the Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP), and 36 in the Southern Lower Peninsula (SLP). A total of 554,817 individuals of 158 species was recorded (the 3rd consecutive year that the 150-species threshold has been exceeded). At least 150 species have now been recorded in 5 of the last 10 years and 9 of the last 25 years. While no new species were added to the Michigan CBC list this year, American White Pelican (42 at Monroe)
and Western Meadowlark (1 at Eagle Harbor) were each recorded for just the second time on a Michigan CBC. Other highlights included 15 rare species (reported in fewer than 5 of the previous 10 years), 7 borderline species (reported in 5 or 6 of the previous 10 years), 1 expected species missed (reported in 7 or more of the previous years but not this year), 1 count-week species (reported during count week but not on count day), 33 geographically limited species (reported at 10 or fewer circles), 10 species with record-high counts, 1 or more new species at 29 (46%) of 64 circles with a history of at least 10 count-years, 14 circles with at least 70 species, 13 circles with at least 13,500 individuals, and 10 circles with notable percentages of rare or unexpected species. Read on to learn about the exciting details of these and other results from the
122nd CBC in Michigan.