Feiro: Importance of winter bird feeding especially evident in this year’s results
The 47th annual Crookston Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, December 15.
Fifteen individuals from Crookston and the surrounding area participated in this year’s count, which is coordinated by the National Audubon Society and the Minnesota Ornithologist Union.
The volunteers counted birds in a designated 15-mile diameter circle southeast of Crookston and in the community.
A total of 34 different species, just one shy of the record 35, and 1,615 individual birds were observed on one of the warmest Crookston Christmas Bird Counts recorded. Afternoon temperatures reached 43 degrees.
The number of people feeding birds through the winter has drastically declined over the years. To emphasize the importance of winter feeding of birds, this year’s count can attribute at least 16 species that were recorded around active feeders at three homes and the Oakdale Cemetery in Crookston.
The species recorded this year included: Gray Partridge, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Greater Prairie Chicken, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-billed Magpie, American Crow, Common Raven, Horned Lark, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Snow Bunting, White-throated Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, House Finch, Purple Finch, Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow and Northern Cardinal.
Thanks to this year’s participants: Phil Baird – Fisher; Jeff Bell – East Grand Forks, Gladwin Lynne – Warren; Emily Hutchins – Mentor; Leon and Donna Thoreson – Climax; and from Crookston, Jerry and Heidi Fenno, Mike Christopherson, Dan Svedarsky, Bruce Krueger, John and Lisa Loegering, Kim and Tom Feiro.