Report: Whitehorse Christmas Bird Count 2022

Bohemian Waxwings were everywhere this year! (photo Syd Cannings)

The 2022 Whitehorse Christmas Bird Count was very successful in spite of the weather being a tad windy and cold. There were 44 participants, including 28 different parties and 11 feeder-watchers. All told, participants counted 6,822 birds of 28 species — compared with 4,162 birds of 24 species last year (the long-term average is 25 species). After a very warm fall season, the Boxing Day count was preceded by a week of brutal cold, including 20 December when the mercury dropped to -42.1 C and topped out at -36.1. Quite a few oddball birds that normally winter south of here were hanging around prior to that and there was considerable speculation about their ability to survive that kind of deep freeze. However, on count day we discovered a lot of them had done pretty well: We had all-time high counts for 9 species (American Wigeon, Common Goldeneye, American Crow, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Bohemian Waxwing, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, White-Crowned Sparrow, and Purple Finch). People were delighted to have thousands of Bohemian Waxwings around through the Christmas holidays — quite a contrast to last year’s count when we were totally stumped! Not only were we awash in Bohemian Waxwings (almost double the previous record of 2,033 set in 2016), but for the first time ever they outnumbered our perennial winter resident Common Ravens! Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s count!

Satellite image of the Whitehorse area showing the Whitehorse Christmas Bird Count circle. Birds are counted within this red circle each year.
These five Common Goldeneyes were lounging on the Yukon River just below the Rotary Centennial Bridge (photo Jim Hawkings)
The lonely female American Wigeon at MacIntyre Marsh (photo Syd Cannings)
Ogling the American Wigeon at MacIntyre Marsh (photo Syd Cannings)
Elated finders of the American Wigeon! (photo Lena Ware)
Elise Maltin and Marina McCready enjoying the wilds near Copper Ridge (photo Elise Maltin)

Here’s the list:

  1. American Wigeon 1
  2. Mallard 63
  3. Common Goldeneye 5
  4. Common Merganser 1
  5. Spruce Grouse 3
  6. Northern Goshawk 1
  7. Bald Eagle 51
  8. Downy Woodpecker 6
  9. Hairy Woodpecker 6
  10. Canada Jay 11
  11. Black-billed Magpie 56
  12. American Crow 6
  13. Common Raven 1757
  14. Black-capped Chickadee 101
  15. Boreal Chickadee 16
  16. Red-breasted Nuthatch 9
  17. American Dipper 5
  18. American Robin 7
  19. Bohemian Waxwing 4032
  20. Dark-eyed Junco 40 (Slate coloured 39, Oregon 1)
  21. American Tree Sparrow 1
  22. White-crowned Sparrow 4
  23. Pine Grosbeak 88
  24. Purple Finch 10
  25. Red Crossbill 21
  26. White-winged Crossbill 186
  27. crossbill sp. 49
  28. Common Redpoll 74
  29. finch sp. 60
  30. House Sparrow 152

Total Individuals 6822

Total Species Reported 28


Tracy Allard, Jeremy Baumbach, Carrie Boles, Selena Boothroyd, Diane Brent, Cindy Breitkreutz, Laurie Brochu, Linda Cameron, Syd Cannings, Paul Davis, Marianne Douglas, Gabrielle Dupont, Cameron Eckert, Alison Eremenko, Timothy Giilck, Jim Hawkings, Melody Hazel, Christine Hedgecock, Ed Jenni, Carole Kroening, Yvette LePage, Maria Leung, Elise Maltinsky, Meghan Marjanovic, Logan McLeod, Karen McKenna, Dave Mossop, Marty Mossop, Wendy Nixon, Adam Perrier, Don Reid, Claudia Riveros, Bob Sagar, Mike Setterington, Pam Sinclair, Becky Striegler, Jenny Trapnell, Jim Tredger, Lena Ware, Ryleigh Whitfield, Keith Williams, Scott Williams, Caitlin Willier

Here’s a more complete report for those who like details….


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