Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What One Might See in Winter in Eastern Upstate NY

A question was posed at Moreau Lake this past weekend that piqued my curiosity and inspired me to pull out a spreadsheet I made this past spring. It began out of my need to have a list of all birds I might see in all seasons in the three counties I regularly visited in upstate New York, those being Washington, Warren, and Saratoga counties. The list was first created using the DEC's Breeding Bird Atlas, then organized in taxonomic order based on the AOU list. I arbitrarily decided whether the species had a big, medium, or small population and whether it was increasing, decreasing, or staying about the same by comparing the distribution maps (1980-1985 map with 2000-2005 map). I then determined what season one would see each species by comparing range maps in 4 or 5 different field guides, including Peterson's and Sibley.

What you are about to see is the list of birds one potentially might see in Warren, Saratoga, and Washington counties in upstate NY in the winter (yes, this includes both those that are here year-round and those that migrate here in the winter months), organized by those arbitrary population sizes. The list under each population size runs by taxonomic order.

At the end you will find a heading "Not in BBA." For whatever reason, the species has inconclusive data in the DEC's Breeding Bird Atlas, thus I was unable to determine an arbitrary population size, but field guides show that the bird has a winter or year-round range in those counties of NY. Notes on the population size that I have included come from Peterson's and/or Sibley field guides.

HIGH POPULATION
canada goose
mallard
ruffed grouse
wild turkey
red-tailed hawk
american kestrel
ring-billed gull
rock pigeon
mourning dove
belted kingfisher
downy woodpecker
hairy woodpecker
northern flicker
pileated woodpecker
blue jay
american crow
black-capped chickadee
tufted titmouse
white-breasted nuthatch
eastern bluebird
american robin
european starling
cedar waxwing
song sparrow
dark-eyed junco
northern cardinal
common grackle
purple finch
house finch
american goldfinch
house sparrow

MEDIUM POPULATION
american black duck
common merganser
hooded merganser
ring-necked pheasant
sharp-shinned hawk
cooper's hawk
eastern screech owl
great horned owl
barred owl
common raven
red-breasted nuthatch
brown creeper
northern mockingbird
white-throated sparrow
pine siskin (erratic winter range - irruptions)

LOW POPULATION
mallard x american black duck hybrid
bald eagle
northern goshawk
herring gull
great black-backed gull
northern saw-whet owl (irruptions)
carolina wren
golden-crowned kinglet
red crossbill (irruptions)
white-winged crossbill (irruptions)
evening grosbeak (irruptions)

NOT IN BBA
rough-legged hawk (irruptions)
long-eared owl (uncommon)
short-eared owl (irruptions)
northern shrike (uncommon; irruptions)
american tree sparrow (fairly common)
lapland longspur (uncommon)
snow bunting (fairly common)
common redpoll (fairly common; irruptions)

1 comment:

Woodswalker said...

I was surprised to learn that the belted kingfisher stays around here in the winter. How does it survive when all the waterways freeze over? Or does it migrate then to follow open water?

Dear Lindsey, I am so sorry to learn about your car/deer accident. I hope you are feeling better soon.

Jackie Donnelly