Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Don Paseka

Date of this Version



Paseka, "2014–2015 Christmas Bird Counts," from Nebraska Bird Review (March 2015) 83(1).


Copyright 2015 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


Fourteen counts were held during the 2014–15 Christmas Bird Count season, which is one less than last season. Although the Beaver Valley and Harrison counts were not done this season, the Harlan County count was resumed after a twelve-year hiatus and produced several noteworthy species counts. It also should be noted that the Grand Island count was held on December 13, which is one day before the official Audubon sanctioned count period begins, but its results are included in this discussion.

Following a very mild first week of November, the second week started with a sudden cold snap which persisted through the week. When the wind stopped blowing at the end of the week, most of the open water across the state had frozen. It was expected that many species had departed for the winter, but milder weather returned and lasted well into mid-December. The result was considerable open water for the counts held during the first half of the count period and respectable totals for both species (133) and individuals (246,311).

Nine species set new or tied previous high counts, including the first-ever record on a Nebraska count of Baltimore Oriole, a single bird visiting a feeder in Seward. While 19 species were found in every circle, 20 species were found in only one circle and 11 of those were single birds.