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Christmas Bird Count 2021

For purposes of the Christmas Bird Count, Peaks Island is a part of the Portland district. For the second year the ‘Portlanders’ hand over the count to Michael LaCombe and Sam Wainright. They must trust us.

The day starts at 7:00 AM cloudy and cold, but no snow, not yet. The island is quiet, no wind and few bird sounds. Are the birds settling into cozy places before the snow? One might think that birds would be stocking-up before the snow?

With impending snow we took no time for breaks, our plan for lunch at Lisa’s Café is abandoned. In all, 6.3 hours of searching yielded 42 species. Last year we found 43 species.

The most abundant land species (not counting the non-native starlings, house sparrows, and pigeons) are the American Goldfinches (75) and Black-capped Chickadees (78). Absent from last year’s count, the wary Common Raven and Pileated Woodpecker are seen or heard singly in different locations. Significant water bird species are the Common Eiders (71), Long-tailed Ducks (40), Red-breasted Mergansers (38), and Herring Gulls (32). Let's not overlook the Common Loons - 29 of them.

Many species recently seen on the island were missed. We do not find the Eastern Bluebird that was reported on eBird by John. He tells us that the bluebird is seen in a mixed flock of small birds that visit his yard, but not on this day. His dark brown chicken, however greets us with ‘grumbling’ clucks. Do chickens grumble? Bob’s Screech Owls are elusive, perhaps snuggled into a nest, not to be seen in the day or heard in the evening. Lisa’s Snowy Owl is absent. The Red-breasted Nuthatch and Brown Creeper are also missing from this year’s count even though we eagerly searched for them in wooded areas.

In all a great Christmas Bird Count on Peaks Island. Thank you Michael and Sam.

Christmas Bird Count List

Canada Goose 8

Mallard 41

American Black Duck 20

Common Eider 71

White-winged Scoter 2

Surf Scoter 17

Long-tailed Duck 40

Bufflehead 14

Common Goldeneye 3

Red-breasted Merganser 38

Wild Turkey 17

Red-necked Grebe 8

Rock Pigeon 58

Mourning Dove 1

Black Guillemot 3

Herring Gull 32

Great Black-backed Gull 1

Common Loon 29

Great Cormorant 7

Bald Eagle 2

Red-bellied Woodpecker 5

Downy Woodpecker 9

Hairy Woodpecker 2

Pileated Woodpecker 2

Blue Jay 13

American Crow 25

Common Raven 2

Black-capped Chickadee 78

Tufted Titmouse 12

White-breasted Nuthatch 10

Carolina Wren 2

Northern Mockingbird 6

European Starling 61

Cedar Waxwing 4

House Finch 18

American Goldfinch 75

Dark-eyed Junco 3

White-throated Sparrow 2

Song Sparrow 10

Northern Cardinal 12

House Sparrow 68

Additional Species:

Black Chicken (mumbling) 1

By Patty Wainright


Welcome to

The Backshore Bird Blog


The objective of The Backshore Bird Blog is to share the wonder and diversity of bird species seen along the Peaks Island shore.

If you like birds...

take a look at our list of the 100 varieties of birds that have been spotted around the Island here. How many can you spot?

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