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Eagle group releases bird count results

Three bald eagles are seen in a nest at Lock and Dam 13 in Thomson Saturday morning. Spotting of the wildlife was rare Saturday for the annual Bald Eagle Days as warm temperatures have kept the birds from settling in the area like usual.
Three bald eagles are seen in a nest at Lock and Dam 13 in Thomson Saturday morning. Spotting of the wildlife was rare Saturday for the annual Bald Eagle Days as warm temperatures have kept the birds from settling in the area like usual.

APPLE RIVER – Results of the 55th annual Jo Daviess County Christmas Bird Count by the Eagle Nature Foundation and Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation were announced Dec. 26, with 2,593 birds of 48 different species counted.

Twenty-one volunteers in six teams traveled for the count. No pheasants were seen, except for a couple of males seen near a captive flock.

Terrence Ingram, the count’s compiler, predicted the rest of the winter would be average, but said the numbers may not reflect anything this year, because birds seen were only those which survived.

Ingram cited habitat destruction and agricultural spraying as reasons for bird loss.

Species with decreased numbers were:

•16 wild turkeys, compared to 334 in 2003.

• 58 red-tailed hawks, compared to 184 in 1995.

• Four rough-legged hawks, compared to 36 in 1983.

• 63 pigeons, compared to 460 in 1996.

• 67 mourning doves, compared to 477 in 2004.

• Three red-headed woodpeckers, compared to 17 in 1981.

• 77 blue jays, compared to 281 in 2004.

• 25 horned larks, compared to 436 in 1999.

• 15 robins, compared to 821 in 1983.

• 72 cedar waxwings, compared to 750 in 1993.

• 52 American tree sparrows, compared to 1,083 in 1981.

• 230 dark-eyed juncos, compared to 1,536 in 2011.

• 48 cardinals, compared to 640 in 1968.

• 63 goldfinches, compared to 500 in 1966.

• 262 house sparrows, compared to 1,800 in 1971.

Other birds seen this year are 324 Canadian geese, 25 mallards, two great blue herons, one northern harrier, 20 bald eagles, four Eurasian collared doves, one great horned owl, eight belted kingfishers, 17 red-bellied woodpeckers, 44 downy woodpeckers, 12 hairy woodpeckers, three pileated woodpeckers, one northern shrike, 230 crows, 95 black-capped chickadees, 23 tufted titmouse, 13 red-breasted nuthatches, 57 white-breasted nuthatches, five brown creepers, one Carolina wren, 47 bluebirds, 439 starlings, one yellow-rumped warbler, three white-throated sparrows, one song sparrow, 72 house finches, 83 purple finches, one pine siskin, and one Eurasian tree sparrow.

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