Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


1979 Christmas Count

Copyright 1980, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.



Ninety-nine species (four less than last year) were reported in the 1979 Christmas Count, and one species was reported present but not seen on the count. (There was no such species reported last year.) This drop was in spite of one more count - from Kearney - this year. The number of additional races reported - three - was the same as last year. The individual count this year was 188,102 compared to 90,000 last year, and most of the increase was due to the Snow Goose and Mallard counts along the Missouri River, which in turn was due to the relatively open winter to the time of the counts. Only twelve species were reported from all stations this year, compared to seventeen last year, and surprisingly, the Brown Creeper was one of the twelve.

The columns are arranged in an approximate west (left) to east (right) order, with the northernmost location of those of about equal longitude given first. The symbol "H" is used to indicate a species present during the count period but not recorded on the count day.

Crawford, 16 December, the count circle centered on the southeast corner of town, to include parts of the White River valley and the Pine Ridge at Fort Robinson State Park, Cochran State Wayside Area, Ponderosa Wildlife Management Area, and Crow Butte; elevation 3,500 to 4,000 ft.; habitat coverage: riparian woodland 31%, open prairie 23%, coniferous woodland 19%, residential 15%, cropland 12%; 6:30 AM to 4:30 PM, clear all day, temperature - 10° to 29° F., wind variable, 5·10 mph., snow cover 0-12", fresh water partly open, wild food crop fair. Four observers in 3 parties: total party hours 26 (8 on foot, 18 by car), total party miles 241 (80n foot, 233 by car). Dorothy and Richard Rosche (compiler) and Fred and Melly Zeillenmaker. The counts for Mallards, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Common Snipe, and Pygmy Nuthatches were the highest in the six years the count has been taken - the Pygmy Nuthatch count might be the highest one-day count recorded in Nebraska. The total individual count, and those for Robins, Starlings, Goldfinches, and Tree Sparrows were the lowest for the six years of the counts. It was the first year no Robin was recorded.