Christmas Bird Count 2014 - Ottawa

Today I did the Christmas Bird Count with people whom I have gotten to know this semester that enjoy bird-watching too.  It has been a while since I bird-watched with other naturalists, and I have forgotten how fun it can be (and less awkward compared to birding by myself in the suburbs and/or parks with children around).

Focusing on the Goldeneyes on the Rideau River.

We saw a total of 26 different species (the others kept actual counts for each species), and below were the more interesting species that we observed and that I photographed.

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

A dead Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) that appeared to have fallen dead from the sky.

A poor photo of a White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) after it took off from a treetop.

A female Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)

A male Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) with the crescent-shaped white spot on his face.  While we saw about 120 Common Goldeneyes today, there was only this Barrow's that migrated to Ottawa instead of going to Western North America.

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

A Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) with an interesting plumage.

One of us saw a bird flying to the roof of a building across the river, which we thought may be a Peregrine Falcon but it was too far away to be absolutely certain.

Can you spot a bird on the right corner roof top of the center building?

Zooming in.

Before we went to our next assigned location, we drove across the bridge and parked underneath the building to see the bird up-close.

Yep, it was a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) indeed.

Here is today's species list (without the counts):
- Mallard
- Common Goldeneye
- Barrow's Goldeneye
- Common Merganser
- Pied-billed Grebe
- Great Black-backed Gull
- Herring Gull
- Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
- Downy Woodpecker
- Hairy Woodpecker
- American Crow
- Common Raven
- Black-capped Chickadee
- White-breasted Nuthatch
- Brown Creeper
- American Robin
- European Starling
- White-throated Sparrow
- White-crowned Sparrow
- House Sparrow
- Dark-eyed Junco
- Northern Cardinal
- House Finch
- Common Redpoll
- American Goldfinch
- Peregrine Falcon

Overall, it was a great day seeing different species of birds still hanging around and surviving in Ottawa, knowing that my bird-watching skill is still decent, and hanging out with people with shared interests.

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