Monday, November 3, 2008

Counting crows

The results of the 37th Annual Illinois Spring Bird Count arrived in the mail recently, and I'm increasingly enjoying the arrival of this and the Christmas Bird Count results. It must be the intersection of birding and geography that is so appealing. Anyway, here are some highlights:

--Holding the No. 1 spot for the millionth year in a row (10,000th?) is red-winged blackbird. Mind you, this survey takes place in May.

--The top 20 includes birds like indigo bunting (12th) and tree swallow (13th) but not american crow (25th).

--DeKalb County, just west of the Chicago area, recorded the most eastern screech-owls, 13.

--Iroquois County, 60 miles due south of Chicago and a strange mosaic of prairie, farmland, sand, savanna and woodlands, recorded the most brown creepers (12).

--The most red-winged blackbirds were found in McHenry County, northwest of Chicago (4,421 of 61,289 statewide). It's funny because you can see just about 61, 289 red-wings on any ride through the Midwest in May or June, I swear.

I could parse this data forever.

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