What is more or less the final count has been done on the annual High River Christmas bird count.

Organizer Greg Wagner had the calculator out over the holidays working the numbers.

He says with 1,125, Common Redpolls were one of the larger number of birds in the area heading into the holidays.

He says it's a species that's very cyclical.

"In the next year or two, we won't see any. Which is repeated in data time and time again, and seems related to willow seed production. It's amazing that you'd get so many this year and next year we might not see any.

He says they spotted five Ringed Necked Pheasants this year, which is a few more than they usually see.

"We have some birds being released out at Frank Lake for example, but also Winter severity can really affect pheasants. If you get cold, blowing snow, that really sets them back. Places like the cattails near Frank Lake or areas along the river are pretty important habitat for those birds."

He says they counted at least two Robins this year, along with 500 Mallard Ducks, but he says with the weather turning much colder, many of those birds have probably bugged out.

Here's the count totals, minus the numbers of a handful of feeder watchers Wagner is still waiting to get the numbers from:

Mallard-585
Northern Shoveler - 1
Northern Pintail - 2
Common Goldeneye - 3
Ring-necked Pheasant - 5
Grey Partridge - 64
Bald Eagle     - 11
American Coot - 1
Rock Pigeon - 673
Eurasian Collared-Dove - 208
Great Horned Owl - 14
Snowy Owl - 1
Northern Hawk Owl - 1
Downy Woodpecker - 20
Hairy Woodpecker - 10
Northern Flicker - 44
Merlin - 1
Gyrfalcon - 1
Prairie Falcon - 2
Northern Shrike - 2
Blue Jay - 26
Black-billed Magpie - 272
Common Raven - 50
Black-capped Chickadee - 167
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 5
White-breasted Nuthatch - 10
Brown Creeper - 1
Townsend's Solitaire - 1
American Robin - 2
European Starling - 3
Bohemian Waxwing - 1600
Snow Bunting - 150
American Tree Sparrow - 20
Dark-eyed Junco - 2
Song Sparrow - 1
Rusty Blackbird - 6
Common Grackle - 2
Pine Grosbeak - 17
House Finch - 92
Common Redpoll - 1125
Hoary Redpoll - 2
Red Crossbill - 1
Pine Siskin - 7
House Sparrow - 1124

Total Birds - 6335

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