Winter List 2011-12

December 1st marks the “official” start to winter birding. Many birders keep a Winter List – a list of all birds seen in a defined area over the course of the winter, which encompasses the three slowest months of the year (December, January and February). Winter listing is an activity that has gained in popularity over the last few years, and each province keeps a list of all the birds seen each winter season. Ottawa maintains its own Official Winter List. A winter list of 90 species or more in the Ottawa checklist circle is excellent, but most birders aim for a list of 100 species.

The first weeks of December bring the most variety in species. Many birds that have not yet completed their migratory journeys south may linger if temperatures remain mild, the lakes and rivers remain open and ice-free, and food supplies are abundant. By the time the frigid temperatures of January set in and snowfall accumulates, however, any lingering migrants disappear and it becomes more and more difficult to add new species to the Winter List.

Although I have kept a winter list for the last 4 years, I usually only average 60 species per winter. Here is this year’s winter list:

Lesser Scaup

  1. Rock Pigeon – December 1
  2. Mallard – December 1
  3. Common Goldeneye – December 1
  4. Ring-billed Gull – December 1
  5. Herring Gull – December 1
  6. Black-capped Chickadee – December 1
  7. European Starling – December 1
  8. Northern Cardinal – December 1
  9. American Goldfinch – December 1
  10. House Sparrow – December 1
  11. Canada Goose – December 3
  12. Snow Bunting – December 3
  13. Great Blue Heron

  14. Snow Goose – December 3
  15. Ring-necked Duck – December 3
  16. Common Merganser – December 3
  17. Pileated Woodpecker – December 3
  18. Red-tailed Hawk – December 3
  19. Great Black-backed Gull – December 3
  20. Blue Jay – December 3
  21. American Crow – December 3
  22. Common Raven – December 3
  23. Red-breasted Nuthatch – December 3
  24. White-breasted Nuthatch – December 3
  25. Black-capped Chickadee

  26. American Tree Sparrow – December 3
  27. Bald Eagle – December 3
  28. Lesser Scaup – December 3
  29. Black Scoter Ottawa – December 3
  30. Bufflehead – December 3
  31. Great Blue Heron – December 3
  32. Wild Turkey – December 4
  33. Northern Harrier – December 4
  34. Wood Duck – December 4
  35. Gadwall – December 4
  36. American Black Duck – December 4
  37. Canvasback – December 4
  38. Barred Owl

  39. Hooded Merganser – December 4
  40. Mourning Dove – December 10
  41. Hairy Woodpecker – December 10
  42. Red-breasted Merganser – December 11
  43. Glaucous Gull – December 11
  44. Snowy Owl – December 11
  45. Downy Woodpecker – December 11
  46. American Robin – December 11
  47. Red-winged Blackbird – December 11
  48. American Coot – December 26
  49. Dark-eyed Junco – December 26
  50. Snowy Owl

  51. Purple Finch – December 26
  52. Northern Shrike – December 26
  53. Barred Owl – December 31
  54. Brown Creeper – December 31
  55. Northern Flicker – January 1
  56. Sharp-shinned Hawk – January 1
  57. Cedar Waxwing – January 19
  58. House Finch – January 19
  59. Barrow’s Goldeneye – January 22
  60. Varied Thrush – January 22
  61. Evening Grosbeak – January 22
  62. Northern Pintail

  63. Ruffed Grouse – January 22
  64. Bohemian Waxwing – January 22
  65. Horned Lark – January 22
  66. Gray Partridge – January 22
  67. Cooper’s Hawk – January 22
  68. Winter Wren – January 28
  69. Belted Kingfisher – January 28
  70. Carolina Wren – January 28
  71. Northern Mockingbird – February 5
  72. Northern Pintail – February 18
  73. White-throated Sparrow – February 18
  74. Red Crossbill – February 26
  75. White-winged Crossbill – February 26
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2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Winter List 2011-12

  1. Pingback: Adding to the Winter List | Dragonfly Dreams

  2. Pingback: Return of the Winter List | The Pathless Wood

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