Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Date of this Version



Paseka, "2002 Christmas Bird Counts," (March 2003) 71(1).


Copyright 2003, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


2002 Christmas Bird Counts compiled by Janis Paseka

The 2002 Christmas Bird Count period included 11 counts, down one from the previous year, as no count was held in Harlan County. Ten of these counts took place in Nebraska, and one, which includes the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge and Boyer Chute, straddles the Nebraska-Iowa border. A total of 237 counters participated in this year's count, 208 in the field and 29 at feeders.

The overall weather this year was balmy, with over half the counts ending their day in the 50's or 60's. The weather had also been mild in the weeks prior to the count period, and there was a lot of open water, which accounts for many of the large individual totals this year.

The total count of 132 species was in the normal range. (There were 138 in 2001, 117 in 2000 and 133 in 1999.) However, the total of individual birds counted took a big jump to 303,000, compared to 230,000 in 2001, 138,000 in 2000, and 238,000 in 1999. Although many species had high individual counts, the bulk of this increase is due to huge Snow Goose numbers: nearly 130,000 this year compared to 62,000 last year.