2013 Christmas Bird Count Summary

The 32nd Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count was conducted on December 15, 2013.   A cloudy morning gave way to a sunny, breezy afternoon and a total of 119 people counted 84 species and 24,110 birds.   The overall results were very good and in line with the experience of our previous several years and higher than our past 15 year average.  The 119 birders are the most we have ever had on our M-BR CBC and the number of birds counted is the highest since 2003.


Among the interesting finds this year was the first time ever sighting of a Cacklilng Goose by Phil Kenny, Russ Taylor and Margaret Greishaber.  We had (relatively) high numbers of such interesting birds as Northern Bobwhite (two coveys), Common Loon (second sighting ever and first since 1990), Brown Thrasher, American Pipit and American Tree Sparrow.  Additionally, we had 8 all-time high species numbers (Horned Grebe, Black Vulture, Bald Eagle, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Fish Crow, Carolina Wren, and Eastern Bluebird).  We cannot discount good fortune in these findings and we acknowledge the (slightly) increased number of counters; however, most of the credit goes to the care and diligence of these counters who did a really good job of finding and identifying birds.  One measure of this attentiveness is that 15 species were seen only one time during the count.

In terms of species trends, Blue Jay, American and Fish Crows, Carolina Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse are near or beyond the upper end of our historic numbers for them.  Woodpeckers overall are doing well, as are Northern Cardinals.  Bluebirds seem to have rebounded from the harsh snows of three winters ago to all time highs last year and again this year.  American Kestrel and Merlin are hanging on with a few of each species reported each year.

Copies of the full results for the count are available here. 

We gratefully thank all the enthusiastic birders who came out this year and counted so well! 

Bob Shipman