Winter List 2012-13

It’s that time of year again! The official winter listing period has begun, and once again I will be keeping a list of all of the birds I observe during the months of December, January and February. Winter listing is an activity that has gained in popularity over the last few years, partly as a way to relieve the boredom that sets in during the three slowest months of the year, and partly due to its competitive nature. Each province keeps a list of all the birds seen each winter season; for years Blake Maybank of Nova Scotia has hosted them on his website. Ottawa maintains its own Official Winter List, and a winter list of 90 species or more in the Ottawa checklist circle is considered excellent. While most birders aim for a list of 100 species, in the past five years that I have kept a winter list I have only averaged 60 species per winter. My best season was last winter, when I tallied 70 species altogether!

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. It helps, too, if it is an invasion year; we have seen large numbers of Boreal finches in the Ottawa region this past fall, so hopefully many of them stick around for the winter. It is too early to tell whether this will be an exceptional winter for seeing owls.

Here is this year’s winter list:

Black-backed Woodpecker

  1. Common Raven – December 1
  2. Red-tailed Hawk – December 1
  3. Canada Goose – December 1
  4. American Crow – December 1
  5. Common Redpoll – December 1
  6. Pine Grosbeak – December 1
  7. Black-capped Chickadee – December 1
  8. European Starling – December 1
  9. Mourning Dove – December 1
  10. Hairy Woodpecker – December 1
  11. White-breasted Nuthatch – December 1
  12. Ring-billed Gull – December 1
  13. Mallard – December 1
  14. Red-breasted Merganser – December 1
  15. Common Goldeneye – December 1
  16. Pileated Woodpecker

  17. American Black Duck – December 1
  18. Wood Duck – December 1
  19. House Finch – December 1
  20. Dark-eyed Junco – December 1
  21. Northern Cardinal – December 1
  22. Downy Woodpecker – December 1
  23. Rock Pigeon – December 1
  24. Red-breasted Nuthatch – December 2
  25. Blue Jay – December 2
  26. Brown Creeper – December 2
  27. American Goldfinch – December 3
  28. Bohemian Waxwing – December 3
  29. American Robin – December 3
  30. Great Black-backed Gull – December 3
  31. Hooded Merganser – December 3
  32. Juvenile Cooper's Hawk

  33. Wild Turkey – December 3
  34. American Tree Sparrow – December 3
  35. Common Merganser – December 3
  36. House Sparrow – December 7
  37. Harlequin Duck – December 9
  38. Black-backed Woodpecker – December 9
  39. Merlin – December 12
  40. Pileated Woodpecker- December 15
  41. Ruffed Grouse – December 15
  42. Snow Bunting – December 23
  43. Herring Gull – December 26
  44. Cooper’s Hawk – December 26
  45. Barrow’s Goldeneye – December 26
  46. Rough-legged Hawk – December 29
  47. Snowy Owl – December 29
  48. Yes, this is a photo of an owl that was baited.   I would prefer not to use it, but as I took very few pictures of birds this winter I don't have anything better.  Except a Downy Woodpecker, and there are already two photos of woodpeckers on this page.

  49. Bald Eagle – December 30
  50. Northern Shrike – December 31
  51. Carolina Wren – January 1
  52. Barred Owl – January 13
  53. Brown-headed Cowbird – January 20
  54. Bufflehead – January 26
  55. Northern Harrier – January 26
  56. Northern Saw-whet Owl – January 26
  57. Red-bellied Woodpecker – January 26
  58. American Kestrel – January 26
  59. Snow Bunting – January 26
  60. Great Gray Owl – January 27
  61. Horned Lark – February 3
  62. Cedar Waxwing – February 10
  63. Peregrine Falcon – February 19
  64. Northern Hawk Owl – February 23
  65. Sharp-shinned Hawk – February 24
  66. Hoary Redpoll – February 24
  67. Green-winged Teal – February 24
3 Comments

3 thoughts on “Winter List 2012-13

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

  2. Pingback: Before the Solstice | The Pathless Wood

  3. Pingback: The End of Winter | The Pathless Wood

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