Date of this Version
“2006–2007 Christmas Bird Counts in Nebraska,” from Nebraska Bird Review (March 2007) 75(1).
Despite snow and ice storms which forced postponement of several counts and prevented participation by a number of birders, all 14 counts which were held last winter took place again this winter. The total number of species (131) was two more than last year's 129, and the total number of individuals was 177,590, down some 30,000.
Waterfowl numbers were about normal. Canada Goose numbers were down 16,000 from last year, but this is a number which fluctuates on that scale from year to year. Northern Pintails are becoming more abundant on Christmas Counts. Their tallies in the early 1990s were in the single digits, last year's count was 96, and this year 146 were counted, highest since 157 in 1966.
Great Blue Herons hit an all-time high this year with 42 tallied, 14 of those on the Lincoln count. Likewise Northern Harriers were counted in record numbers this year: 106 was this year's count and the previous high was 103 in 1994. Red-tailed Hawks have been increasing during every decade since the 1960s. The average number seen on Christmas counts in the 1960s was 32, in the 1970s the average was 81, in the 1980s it was 208, in the 1990s it was 250, and from 2000 to 2005 it was 373. This year's count of 542 was an all-time high.