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La Crosse 2002 Christmas Bird Count - A Summary

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Pre-dawn until Dusk and Beyond

Rick Kinzie again was our Christmas Bird Count organizer/compiler this year. The final tally shows a total of 58 species and 7,373 individual birds counted, well under the usual count for the past twenty years or so. This was probably caused by a combination of the early cold weather (the Mississippi River is almost solid ice), which limited waterfowl and gull species, the total lack of snow and the warm weather for the count day itself, which spread the birds out rather than concentrating them conveniently for counting, and the absence of winter finches (only one female Purple Finch).

The new species for this year were the juvenile Trumpeter Swan, seen by Fred Lesher, Mike Houle and Kurt Brownell near French Island and the Ross' Goose and Chipping Sparrow seen by Matt Paulson and his group northeast of the city.

American Robins again were seen in many of the count areas, making their annual every-other-year appearance. This has been a "tradition" for them for almost a dozen years now (see the American Robin chart).

Check out an amusing "sighting" here.

Mike Furr and Laura Johnson again hosted the potluck party after the day's counting. The following pictures were taken after we had feasted and were getting ready to tally the count.

Mike Furr, Laura Johnson and their daughter Lara discuss both the joys and frustrations of this year's La Crosse Christmas Bird Count with Coulee Region Audubon Society's president Fred Lesher.
Pat and Bobbie Wilson and Matt Paulson entertain two of Matt's friends, Robby Cooper and Erin Morrison who helped him cover his count area.
CRAS members Todd Huffman, Jolene Lesher, Mary Sullivan, Pat Caffery, Peg Zappen and Artis Aasen listen as Mike and Marilyn Houle and Kurt Brownell discuss the Trumpeter Swan they saw.

Be sure to join us for next year's count.

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