Christmas Bird Counts
2023-24 CBC Dates and SD locations
Sioux Falls CBC- December 16
The 83rd annual Sioux Falls Christmas Bird Count was conducted on Saturday, December 16.
The Canton CBC, held December 30
Below is the tentative Sioux Falls CBC area map
Saturday, 12/16/23 84th Sioux Falls CBC Chris Anderson, Compiler
14 field observers and 2 feeder watchers participated in the 84th Sioux Falls Christmas Bird Count. Together we found 6,451 individuals of 46 different species plus 2 more species during count week (the three days before and after count day). This is up slightly from 43 species last year, but below the average of the last 10 years (48), and right on the average of 46 over the last 30 years.It was a somewhat damp and chilly morning that never really warmed up much. But with the temperatures being above freezing many days recently, there was more open water than usual, which led to a few species not normally observed on the count.
Some species of note:
Northern Shoveler - 6th ever time ever recorded in 84 bird counts
Gadwall - a count week observation, 10th observation ever
Canvasback - 1st ever observation
Redhead - 2nd ever observation
American Coot - 9th ever observation
Franklin's Gull - 1st ever observation
Ring-billed Gull - 1st ever observation
Barred Owl - 10th ever observation
Winter Wren - probably the 4th observation ever (historical results list 3 previous sightings of Pacific/Winter Wren)
On December 30, eight participants conducted the Canton CBC. There were scattered patches of snow and ice but mostly bare ground, and pretty much completely open water everywhere on the Big Sioux River. The weather stayed around 30 degrees all day, which was comfortable with the morning sun but was chilly in the afternoon with clouds and increased wind. We found 2,391 individuals of 44 species, which is exactly the number of species from last year and one above the average of 43 for the 12 years this count has been conducted.
Some notable finds included the count's first observations of Carolina Wren and Song Sparrow, as well as Pileated Woodpecker and Rusty Blackbird.
Eurasian Collared-Doves hit their highest mark (138), as did Snow Geese (420), while Blue Jays (21), American Crows (27), and Northern Cardinal (1) had record lows.
Raptors are usually plentiful on this count, but we found no falcons or Rough-Legged Hawks, and only 10 Red-tailed Hawks; both Red-tailed and Rough-legged are usually in the 20s or 30s. Bald Eagle numbers (21) were in line with previous years observations, as they seemed plentiful along the river.
Thanks to everyone who participated!
Chris Anderson Sioux Falls, SD