Thursday, October 11, 2012
2012 Red-breasted Nuthatch Irruption Update & Pine Siskins
So with that I wanted to dig into some numbers to get a better understanding for Worcester County as we stand right now so downloaded some data from eBird onto my computer to see what it looks like.
In looking at the 2012/2013 Ron Pittiway's Winter Finch Forecast it was predicted that both these birds would migrate further south with the crop failures up north so it will be interesting to see what else comes our way as we now have the Red-breasted Nuthatches, Red Crossbills and Pine Siskins. I'd decide to look at maps of the others to see if I cold see any movement headed our way even if it is still too early for most.
So with me being the curious type and all, I decided to look at the past to see if it would give an idea of the future and according to my finding's, it's a tad inconclusive. ;-).
Recent Central Mass Bird Sightings where I pulled all data of irruptive species (except shrike-but I wanted to see if there was a pattern between them and the finch's and their isn't-but I'll have more on that later this year). I used Red-breasted Nuthatch as my criteria in choosing the years I wanted to look at and compare them with some CBC numbers and see if the numbers reported in October and November would stick around for December. NOTE: The numbers don't match the CBC data of course as they come from two different sources so I treat all of the data I collect as samples and don't really look at the overall numbers, but just a pattern of sorts. What's most interesting is totals decrease closer to December (lots of noise w/ the Purple Finch's in Oct-10) so if you back that out- November is the month most sightings are reported. December decreases but that may be due in part to the holiday's as well as people being busy with their local CBC's.
Anyway, back to topic and only looking at 2000, 2003 and 2010. What I wanted to do was see if there was any relation to the high counts of Red-breasted Nuthatch's and the others with an emphasis on Pine Siskin's and Common Redpolls and you will see higher numbers for all in 2003 and 2010 but no relation in 2000 so leave it up to you to decide.
You too can track the migration of many of the birds above by using the eBird link in the beginning of this post as eBird's been kind enough to do all of the tech stuff for you so all you have to do is click and zoom. Pretty nifty if I do say so myself!
And FYI, Larry from Quabbin Birding and Beyond is reporting seeing some of the birds above in Western Massachusetts as well.
Take care all.