Troy’s CBC was held on December 15. Weather was mild with Temps ranging between 33˚ and 39˚F. Snow was essentially non-existent except for our higher elevations to the east and west. Thirteen field observers participated with four feeder watchers. Species total was 51 for count day and 58 for count week.
Usually we have our count after Christmas, but schedule conflicts made us have it at an earlier date. With milder weather and an earlier count date we were able to increase our “wetland” viewing due to the lack of ice. Troy has got to be one of the worst places for waterfowl and wetland birds in the winter so mild conditions helped us in viewing a Trumpeter Swan, Snow Goose, and Wilson’s Snipe (2). Birds seen during count week but not count day were, Northern Goshawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red Crossbills, Golden Eagle, Great Horned Owl, Red-winged Blackbird and Black-billed Magpie. The Magpie may not sound like much to most folks in Montana, but it’s the first Magpie I have seen in Troy in 33 years of living here. Other notable species were Saw-whet Owl (nighttime owling), Harris’s Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch and a larger than normal amount of American Robins (20).
My thanks go out to all who helped in making this count a success (anything above 45 species is a good count for Troy). As always the breakfast and potluck at our house was well attended and a lot of fun. I believe that the birding aspect of the count is number one but I also feel the social benefits of bringing like community members together for such an event are as important as well.