Christmas Bird Count 2022 Results

Posted on January 26, 2023 in Science

By Rebekah Smith, Science-Education Outreach Coordinator
Laurie with binoculars in a Hawk Mountain adjacent field, CBC 2022

Even during the holiday season, Hawk Mountain staff are hard at work collecting valuable long-term surveillance data for avian conservation. A number of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary staff participated in the 59th annual Hamburg Christmas Bird Count (CBC) just a day before ringing in the new year, on December 30th, 2022.

Including some Hawk Mountain staff and volunteers, a dedicated team of 31 field observers and 18 feeder watchers participated in the count. While more feeder watchers participated this year, there were fewer field observers – a trend in recent years. The count is traditionally held on the first Sunday after Christmas, but the 2022 date was changed due to the occurrence of weekend holidays.

The 2022 count was special in more ways than one, as the team racked up rare sightings of an immature tundra swan at Deer Lake and an adult golden eagle passing through Sanctuary grounds. One of the most exciting rare sightings of the day was three saw-whet owls, found in the Hawk Mountain area. This year also marked new record numbers for red-shouldered hawks, pileated woodpeckers, common ravens, and snow geese. Notably, the team observed healthy numbers of eastern bluebirds and white-throated sparrows.

By the end of the day, the team had counted an above-average total of 35,091 birds. Hawk Mountain's Dr. Laurie Goodrich, compiler for the Hamburg CBC, noted that the increase was due to an influx in snow geese, with an estimated total of 13,576 individuals headed southwest. The total number of species observed was 86, achieving an average year for avian biodiversity observed by the Hamburg team.

If you’re interested in joining the Hamburg CBC or the local CBC in your area, visit