Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Leading the Nation in National Highs for 110th CBC!

I just received my issue of American Birds summarizing the 110th Christmas Bird Count and was surprised to find that Atascosa Highlands led the nation with highest tallies for 17 species on our January 3, 2010 count. In my last blog post I listed the 15 that I found, but Brent Ortego in his article found a couple more – Elegant Trogon (we had one, tying with three other AZ counts) and Rufous-crowned Sparrow, a silly oversight on my part – AZAH always has the high count for that one. The next closest count was Weslaco, TX, which had 15 highs.

Brent also compiled the all-time highs for all 110 years of the BC, and AZAH ranks 13th nationally with 10. Our neighbor, the Nogales CBC (which actually illegally overlaps the older AZAH circle, something that should be addressed at some point) ranks 9th, and AZAH stands a good chance of eventually topping most of those, with the exception of the exotic Elegant Quail and the 1997 Nutting's Flycatcher counted in their total.

At top: The Atascosa Highlands CBC tallied 4 Elegant Trogons in 2008, setting a new all-time high for this species. A 5th was found a few weeks late in remote Ramanote Canyon, which hadn't been covered on the CBC.

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