The 36th Annual Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count on December 17, 2017 was very successful. The day turned progressively warmer as 116 people scoured woods, lakes, fields and ponds counting 88 species (second highest species count ever) and 33,465 birds (highest number ever).
Much of the increase in bird count came from lots more American Robins (an all-time high, 50% higher than the previous high count) and European Starlings (not an all-time high, but twice as many as any count since 2003). We did record the Northern Shrike again this year. Also the first Common Golden-eye in 26 years, the first Rough-legged Hawk in 24 years, and the first Mute Swan in 17 years. Seven all-time high sightings were recorded (Gadwall, Red-shouldered Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, American Robin, and White-throated Sparrow). Among the other interesting birds were American Kestrel, Tundra Swan, American Woodcock, Eastern Meadowlark, American Tree, Chipping, Savannah and White-Crowned Sparrows, Merlin, Red-headed Woodpecker (numbers down to 9 from 55 in 2015 and 23 in 2016), Gray Catbird, Palm Warbler and Northern Harrier.
Copies of the full results for the count are available here.
We gratefully thank all the enthusiastic birders both new and returning; we hope you all had a good time and will be back for next year’s count, which will be on Sunday, December 16, 2018.