Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



THE PRAIRIE NATURALIST, Volume 37, No. 2, June 2005, pp 117-122.


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


Christmas Bird Counts were made in 21 areas in North Dakota again in the year 2004. During the year a new count site was established in Pembina County and registered with the Audubon Society but an actual count was not made in the area this year. The location of the all areas in which counts were actually made is shown in Fig. 1. A relatively mild fall season leading up to the count period left much more open water than normal. Weather conditions during the count period varied widely with some areas reporting temperatures in the 40's and 50's of, while one count made at the end of the count period experienced a temperature of minus 35°F. Some areas had high winds and others reported cold, blustery conditions with near blizzard conditions at the end of the day. There was very little or no snow in most counting areas. A total of 236 observers took part in the field counts and an additional 69 persons counted the birds that visited their feeders during the day. Field parties were out for 606.75 hours with 129.75 hours on foot, 3.5 hours on horseback, and 476.5 by car. The field parties covered 174.6 miles on foot, 4 miles on horseback, and 5,824.5 by car for a total of6,003.1 miles. In addition, 12 hours and 152 miles were devoted to "ow ling" during the hours of darkness. One hundred and two species and two additional races of birds were found on the 21 counts. This sets a new record for the number of birds found on Christmas Bird Counts in North Dakota. Two of these species and one race were seen only during count week. The list included three species which were new to the list.