Results of 61st MV NWR Christmas Bird Count shared

Courtesy photos American Kestrel with mouse

MONTE VISTA — The Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge held their annual Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 15 in the San Luis Valley.
Seventeen people (five teams) spent a total of 5.5 hours and covered over 240 miles on the count. Three families participated by watching their feeders for about six hours. Weather conditions during the day were warmish with partly cloudy skies and no wind. The day started out at 16 degrees Fahrenheit and rose to a balmy 46?F. Participants covered most of the 176 square miles of circle.
This year’s numbers were average. A total of 47 species were documented and 5169 individuals, which is up from last year’s 3817 individuals. Sixty-three species is still the record. Rough-legged hawk numbers were down from last year, while Red-tail hawks were plentiful. Best birds were all three Rosy-finch, Northern shrike, Sandhill crane, and Prairie falcon. During the count week, a Wilson’s snipe was reported.
Local information was sent to the National Audubon to be included in the National Christmas Bird Count. The website ( is easy to access to see how we have done in years past as far as the numbers go.
Thank goes to allwho helped with this year’s count.
The following is a summary list of species and individual numbers of each that were documented during the 2018 event:
516 Canada goose
25 Gadwall
167 Mallard
2 American Green-winged teal
1 Wilson’s snipe
5 Great blue heron
2 Golden eagle
10 Northern harrier
9 Bald eagle
61 Red-tailed hawk
2 Rough-legged hawk
2 Sandhill crane
275 Rock pigeon
196 Eurasian Collared-dove
13 Great Horned owl
1 Belted kingfisher
5 Downey woodpecker
4 Hairy woodpecker
12 Northern flicker
5 American kestrel
3 Prairie falcon
2 Northern shrike
220 Black-billed magpie
82 American crow
95 Common raven
368 Horned lark
8 Black-capped chickadee
13 Mountain chickadee
6 Bushtit
8 White-breasted nuthatch
3 Marsh wren
1 Townsend’s Solitaire
3 American robin
1213 European starling
4 American tree sparrow
41 Dark-eyed junco
7 White-crowned sparrow
45 Song sparrow
42 Red-winged blackbird
3 Great-tailed grackle
33 Gray-crowned Rosy-finch
4 Black Rosy-finch
150 Brown-capped Rosy-finch
286 House finch
114 American goldfinch
20 Evening Grosbeak
1075 House Sparrow


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