by John Besser, Nature Areas Committee

The 2023 Columbia Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday December 16. Early birders faced light rain, but temperatures were mild and we persevered to generate a species list of 99 species. This list exceeded totals of 86 and 88 for the previous ‘covid years’ and was the highest tally since 102 species were seen in 2015. We estimate that 64 observers participated in this year’s count, with at least 15 first-time CBCers.
The total number of birds counted was 36868. Area 5 (Eagle Bluffs) had the highest total count (13764) and tied with Area 1S (South Farms, Bradford Farm) for highest species count (63).
Waterfowl seen included Wood Duck and American Black Duck, but few diving ducks. The Columbia wastewater wetlands turned up hardy winter residents, Sora and Virginia Rail, and Capen Park had 7 Black Vultures, a high count for this CBC. Other notable finds included LeConte’s and Lincoln’s Sparrows at Eagle Bluffs, Eurasian Tree Sparrow at South Farms, a Loggerhead Shrike at Bradford Farm, and a Common Redpoll at a feeder.

2023 Columbia CBC—Species and Counts by Area:

AREA 1N 1S 2N 2S 3N 3S 4 5 6 7E 7W 8 TOTALS:
BIRDS 503 2626 2303 2355 2661 1178 1996 13764 3973 2511 1360 1648 36878
TAXA 37 63 42 49 48 45 54 63 60 40 37 34 115
                        (NOT SPECIES) 18
                        SUBTOTAL SPECIES 97
                        COUNT WEEK SPECIES 2
                        GRAND TOTAL SPECIES 99

For Full results of the 2023 Christmas Bird Count, see this spreadsheet: CBC 2023 eBird data and tally_rev