2023 Christmas Bird Count Results

The 53rd consecutive (and 70th overall) Moscow–Pullman Christmas Bird Count was 16 December 2023. We had a record 66 participants (62; 2020) with 20 field teams and 13 feeder watchers. Some field team participants did double-duty, spending time watching their feeders as well. Volunteers spent about 43 hours driving 337 miles, 53 hours walking 64 miles, and 32 hours watching feeders. We tallied 71 count day species (plus 2 count week species) and 14,115 individuals. The number of count day species was above our 10-year running average of 68, and our total individuals was well above our 10-year running average of 11,966.

Although we did not add any new species this year, we set records for 10 species and tied high counts for 4 more. Five of those were waterfowl, indicative of our mild fall and winter. New high-count records include 8 CACKLING GOOSE (1; 2019, 2017, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009), 14 AMERICAN WIGEON (4; 2004), 1948 MALLARD (1695; 2006), 14 SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (10; 2016), 21 STELLER’S JAY (20; 1998, 1979), 308 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (256; 2019), 25 BEWICK’S WREN (18; 2020), 19 TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE (17; 2021), 93 PINE GROSBEAK (55; 1984), and 1210 HOUSE FINCH (785; 2020). We tied our high-count record for NORTHERN SHOVELER (1; 2012, 2010), NORTHERN PINTAIL (1; 2016), NORTHERN FLICKER (INTERGRADE) (1; 2021, 2016, 2014, 2013) and SAY’S PHOEBE (1; 2018). Our only count week species was GREEN-WINGED TEAL (ID & WA).

After four terrible years of BOHEMIAN WAXWING counts (2, 6, 2, and 11), numbers bounced back up to 180, but still well below our record of 4880 set in 1996. A strong showing of STELLER’S JAY in October and November lingered to count day, erasing high counts dating back to 1979. Likewise, PINE GROSBEAK numbers were high this fall, and we easily surpassed the old record. We see PINE GROSBEAKS on about a third of our counts, but we have tallied more than 20 birds on only 4 counts (53, 2015; 55, 1984; 31, 1977; and 25, 1973), making this year’s count extra special.

Twenty-one participants gathered at Hunga Dunga Brewery in Moscow and enjoyed the post-count social, hosted by Palouse Audubon.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

WASHINGTON: Scott Anderson, George Ball, Ann Barrington, Marilynn Beckett, Sarah Bofenkamp, Jess Boone, Kelly Cassidy, Jesse Cook, Linda Cook, Mike Costa, Marie Dymkoski, Tom Fischer, Joan Folwell, Ray Folwell, Kelly Gregory, Bonnie Gunn, Alex Hammond, Barb Hammond, David Herbold, Finn Herbold, Felix Herbold, Wayne Holderby, Ivy Kloepfer, Casey Lowder, Mike Lowery, Paulette Lowery, Lauren McCleary, Grant Norton, Liesl Oeller, Meaghan Petix, Monique Slipher, Allie Tir, Jess Tir, Mary Welcome, Brent Wenger, Trish Wenger, John Wolff, Beverly Wolff, and Svarathi Yalamanchili. IDAHO: RJ Baltierra, Tom Besser, Alida Bockino, Ben Bright, Carson Bright, Mary Brown, Scott Campbell, Chris Caudill, Tyler Coleman, Deb Dumroese, Kas Dumroese, Sam Earnest, Renee Eder, Jeff Hicke, Bettie Hoff, Andy Hudak, Dave Koehler, Greg Lambeth, Kira Long, Blake Mahaffey, Peter Meserve, George Pantazes, Mike Scott, Sharon Scott, Jenn Sherman, Charles Swift, and Seanna Wittler.