Bird Sightings

Payne County Bird Sightings

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                        106th Annual Christmas Bird Count – Dec 17, 2005

The Stillwater Christmas Bird Count, held on December 17 as part of the National Audubon Society’s 106th annual Christmas Bird Count, was a great success. A record 30 participants saw 105 species of birds, which is an all-time record for the local count, held since 1948. The cool, overcast day produced many rare birds, including Gray Catbird, Greater Yellowlegs, Common Nighthawk, and Short-eared Owl. Among the most common sightings were large flocks of Canada Geese, robins, juncos, and Brewer’s Blackbirds.
The complete unofficial tally was: Pied-billed Grebe, 9; Double-crested Cormorant, 37; Great Blue Heron, 20; Canada Goose, 2419; Cackling Goose, 79; Mallard, 1354; Gadwall, 77; Green-winged Teal, 26; American Wigeon, 18; Northern Shoveler, 22; Blue-winged Teal, 18; Canvasback, 8; Redhead, 5; Ring-necked Duck, 40; Lesser Scaup, 48; Common Goldeneye, 12; Bufflehead, 38; Common Merganser, 30; Hooded Merganser, 55; Red-breasted Merganser, 10; Turkey Vulture, 5; Bald Eagle, 3; Northern Harrier, 34; Sharp-shinned Hawk, 6; Cooper’s Hawk, 2; Red-shouldered Hawk, 23, Red-tailed Hawk, 55; Red-tailed (Harlan’s) Hawk, 3; Rough-legged Hawk, 3; American Kestrel, 29; Merlin, 1; Prairie Falcon; 1; Wild Turkey, 178; Northern Bobwhite, 58; American Coot, 253; Killdeer, 4; Wilson’s Snipe, 1; Greater Yellowlegs, 1.
Also, Ring-billed Gull, 273; Bonaparte’s Gull, 8; Rock Pigeon, 41; Mourning Dove, 123; Greater Roadrunner, 1; Eastern Screech-Owl, 1; Great Horned Owl, 5; Barred Owl, 8; Short-eared Owl, 4; Common Nighthawk, 1; Belted Kingfisher, 17; Red-bellied Woodpecker, 62; Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 2; Downy Woodpecker, 49; Hairy Woodpecker, 8; Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker, 12; Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker, 57; Pileated Woodpecker, 12; Loggerhead Shrike, 2; Blue Jay, 310; American Crow, 428; Horned Lark, 12; Carolina Chickadee, 182; Tufted Titmouse, 53; White-breasted Nuthatch, 11; Brown Creeper, 3; Carolina Wren, 37; Bewick’s Wren, 6; Winter Wren, 4; Sedge Wren, 5; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 16; Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 5.
Also, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 2; Eastern Bluebird, 184; Hermit Thrush, 7; American Robin, 4143; Gray Catbird, 1; Northern Mockingbird, 65; European Starling, 113; American Pipet, count week; Cedar Waxwing, 650; Yellow-rumped Warbler, 66; Spotted Towhee, 34; American Tree Sparrow, 114; Chipping Sparrow, 4; Field Sparrow, 62; Vesper Sparrow, 2; Savannah Sparrow, 231; Grasshopper Sparrow, 1; LeConte’s Sparrow, 17; Fox Sparrow, 21; Song Sparrow, 199; Lincoln’s Sparrow, 4; Swamp Sparrow, 20; White-throated Sparrow, 12; Harris’ Sparrow, 190; White-crowned Sparrow, 15; Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco, 1; Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored), 1664; Lapland Longspur, 5; Smith’s Longspur, 74; Northern Cardinal, 200; Red-winged Blackbird, 239; Eastern Meadowlark, 137; Western Meadowlark, 53; meadowlark sp., 395; Brewer’s Blackbird, 2941; Common Grackle, 73; Brown-headed Cowbird, 18; House Finch, 27; American Goldfinch, 263; House Sparrow, 106.
Participants in the bird count were: Bill Bremer, John Couch, Marc Criffield, Dena Hartzell, Les Imboden, Pat Jaynes, Helen Jordan, Joyce Konigmacher, Deanna Martinez, Scott McConnell, Peggy McCormick, Bob McCormick, Iris McPherson, Helen Miller, Freddy Miller, Tim O’Connell, James Ownby (compiler), Charlotte Ownby, Marty Piorkowski, Thea Pratt, Russell Roberts, Joyce Roberts, Zach Roehrs, Elaine Stebler, Matt Stone, Olen Thomas, Teresa Thomas, Susan Walker, Jerry Wilhm, and Nona Wilhm.


Below is a recent article by PCAS member Joyce Konigmacher about her latest backyard birding adventures: 

IN MY YARD  by Joyce Konigmacher


It was WAY too early in the morning, when I woke up. Then my “Bewick’s Wren” alarm sounded, shortly before 7AM, and I decided to go ahead and get out of bed.


Let me explain.


For the past couple of years, a Bewick’s Wren has been roosting in my overhead patio light fixture. Yeah, actually, I did encourage this …  by leaving one of the pieces of glass out, so he/she could fly in there, and sleep all nestled up behind the light bulb. Then, this past spring, Bewicks found himself a mate and they built a nest in there during Easter weekend. Six babies later emerged from the nest, and I cleaned the fixture out, when it appeared that the Bewicks couple was not interested in starting a second family in that location.


Then I bought one of those tiny useless-looking hanging baskets and hung it from a hook on the patio ceiling. It is right near the sliding glass doors that open into the living-room and into my bedroom. That way, I can stand and watch, each evening, and see when the Wren flies in to roost for the night. After that, I can go about my normal routine. But I always feel compelled to wait for the Wren to fly into his basket, to make sure that he is safely tucked in … kinda like sitting up and waiting for the kids to get get home.

For the past couple of evenings, I thought, “gee, he sure is going to bed early now, it is still very light outside.” A few minutes later, another wren flew to the opening of the basket, and prepared to go in.


SURPRISE!  Straight out of Goldilocks and the Three Bears! “Whose been sleeping in MY bed?” A loud disagreement ensued, with much fussing and bickering. Apparently neither bird seemed concerned that I was standing about 4 feet away, witnessing the whole thing. The earliest occupier got the comfortable bed, and the intruder had to find some place else to sleep.


Now I am scrambling around, trying to see if I can find another basket, move one of the nesting boxes into the patio area or somehow slant the rolled-up shade, so that one end is an inverted cone … just big enough for a balled-wren.


For some unknown reason, neither seems interested in the light fixture at this time. Will this situation resolve itself? Will everyone end up with their own comfortable bed? Will the two wrens  figure out that if they get there early ….. they get the basket? Should I install a NO VACANCY light, tripped by a wire at the basket entrance?

Stay tuned for the answer to these questions………

Joyce Konigmacher