2022 Christmas Bird Count

December 17, 2022
OKC Audubon CBC Summary

Decent weather as temps ranged from 27F at sunrise to 44F by sunset with south wind gusts into the mid-teens. It was really the calm before the storm as we were just five days out ahead of a significant Arctic air blast out of Siberia that produced life-threating conditions and for sure impacted bird movements. The climate in general had been relatively dry as the area lakes were down and the surrounding wetlands were dry.

With a few outstanding lists yet to be counted, we outdid last year’s very cold and windy count and logged 22,337 birds comprised of 113 species! Equally impressive were 26 count parties and 46 participants and we had 25 participants show up at Johnny’s for a nice count tally/dinner!

There was no outstanding bird this year for a change but we still had good quality birds to report (bolded in the list — see page 9) and were able to infer some trends. Perhaps the best bird was a Pacific Loon that was found at Lake Hefner.

Almost fair to say now that Great Egrets (2) Lesser Black-backed Gulls (4) and even Franklin’s Gulls (15) are becoming perennial count birds. Still amazed at how the distribution of Red-breasted Mergansers (751) to Common Mergansers (5) has seemingly flipped over the past few decades.

American White Pelicans (171) were lower this year and definitely lower than what we had been getting before the North American cold wave back in February of 2021.

It seemed that robins, waxwings and Yellow-rumped Warblers were down which is consistent with regional observations and could be attributed to a paucity of juniper berries that were put on this season. Acorn production is way down too which may be correlated with our lower number of jays and crows.

Paticipants stating first with new members: Trina Arnold; Guyla Mayo, Franny Pasternik; Dan Cimbaro; Cole Penning; Dave Woodson, Sue Woodson;  Carla Brueggen; John Cleal, Marion Homier; Steve Davis, Mary Lane, Terri Underhill; Bill Diffin; Neil Garrison; Mark Howery, Sharon Henthorn; Patti Muzny,  Brian Munzy; Hal Yocum; Cheryl Allen; Brian Marra, Grace Huffman, Steve Stone; John Sterling; Larry Mays, Aaron Mechem Calvin Rees;  Morton Payne, Matthew Payne, Johnson Hightower, Steve Parker; Warren Harden, Nancy Vicars; Jimmy Woodard, Emily Muns; Nathan Kuhnert, Susan Prescott, Allison Jones, Nathan Jones, Kaye Jones, Deanne McKinney; Kathleen Tucker; and Jerry and Marilyn Taylor.

We missed the services of Ted Golden who was attending to important family matters in addition to other important members that were either out of town or now living out of state (e.g. Betz Hacker).

Nathan Kuhnert, Compiler


Number of birds   Species            
127   Cackling Goose 590   American Coot 29   Eastern Bluebird
1614    Canada Goose 36   Killdeer 3   Hermit Thrush
  Wood Duck 20   Least Sandpiper 807   American Robins
220   Gadwall 1385   Bonaparte’s Gull 51   Northern Mockingbird
47   American Wigeon 15   Franklin’s Gull 5   Brown Thrasher
887   Mallard 4351   Ring-billed Gull 2005   European Starling
146   Northern Shoveler 62   Herring Gull 1   American Pipit
17   Northern Pintail 4   Lesser Black-backed Gull 58   Cedar Waxwing
105   American Green-winged Teal 14   Forster’s Ten 2   Orange-crowned Warbler
161   Canvasback 1209   Rock Pigeon 13   Yellow-rumped Warbler
57   Redhead 67   Eurasian Collared-Dove  10   Spotted Towhee
36    Ring-necked Duck 35   White-winged Dove 1   Eastern Towhee
36   Greater Scaup 69   Mourning Dove 3   American Tree Sparrow
292   Lesser Scaup 1   Eastern Screech-Owl 5   Field Sparrow
244   Bufflehead 6   Great Horned Owl 9   Savannah Sparrow
405   Common Goldeneye 1   Barred Owl 39   Fox Sparrow
97   Hooded Merganser 11   Belted Kingfisher 67   Song Sparrow
5   Common Merganser 4   Red-headed Woodpecker 4   Lincoln Sparrow
751   Red-breasted Merganser 35   Red-bellied Woodpecker 4   Swamp Sparrow
125   Ruddy Duck 7   Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 30   White-throated Sparrow
1   Pacific Loon 55   Downy Woodpecker 269   Harris’s Sparrow
29   Common Loon 5   Hairy Woodpecker 3   White-crowned Sparrow
292   Pied-billed Grebe 47   Northern Flicker 384   Dark-eyed Junco
57   Horned Grebe 3   Pileated Woodpecker 5   Lapland Longspur
409   American White Pelican 2   Eastern Phoebe 2   Smith’s Longspur
1741   Double-crested Cormorant 79   Blue Jay 232   Northern Cardinal
89   Great Blue Heron 249   American Crow 748   Red-winged Blackbird
2   Great Egret 6   Horned Lark 21   Eastern Meadowlark
13   Black-crowned Night-Heron 169   Carolina Chickadee 14   Western Meadowlark
1   Black Vulture 56   Tufted Titmouse 16   Common Grackle
3   Turkey Vulture 5   Red-breasted Nuthatch 26   Great-tailed Grackle
2   Bald Eagle 4   White-breasted Nuthatch 1   Brown-headed Cowbird
2   Northern Harrier 13   Brown Creeper 10   Purple Finch
8   Cooper’s Hawk 55   Carolina Wren 117   House Finch
5   Red-shouldered Hawk 2   Bewick’s Wren 239   American Goldfinch
43   Red-tailed Hawk 13   Winter Wren 283   House Sparrow
13   American Kestrel 3   Marsh Wren      
1   Merlin 12   Golden-crowned Kinglet      
      39   Ruby-crowned Kinglet