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The Trailhead is located in Lake County, Florida. map

For more information, please contact info@scrubjaytrail.org
(352) 429-5566

Email photo contributions
of wildlife or plants seen
on the trail to this address: photos@scrubjaytrail.org



Results of the 9th Annual
Clermont Christmas Bird Count


"Red Tailed Hawk - January 2021 Clermont Christmas Bird Count"
photo: Bill Asteriades

Click Here to see more photos in the Gallery

A Message from John Thomton

First of all, I want to thank you so much for your amazing birding on the Clermont Christmas Bird Count. You guys knocked it out of the park once again! I'm very pleased to announce that we achieved an all-time Count high number of species: 135!! I'm grateful to you all for sticking it out through the AM rain and chill to do such a phenomenal job at finding the birds.

The data below will be submitted to the National Audubon Society during the week of February 14.

Zone 1: Three volunteers
Zone 2: Six volunteers
Zone 3: Four volunteers
Zone 4: Three volunteers
Zone 5: Three volunteers
Zone 6: Five volunteers
Zone 7: Five volunteers
Zone 8: Five volunteers
Zone 9: Three volunteers
Zone 10: Four volunteers

The Results from the
9th Annual Clermont Christmas Bird Count

This was the ninth annual Clermont Christmas Bird Count, and we recorded 135 species (a count record!!). This year, we recorded four species never recorded on this CBC before:
- Common Goldeneye (1 - Zone 7)
- Vermilion Flycatcher (1 - Zone 2)
- Purple Finch (3 - Zone 7)
- Black-throated Blue Warbler (1 - Zone 10)

The only Count Week species this year was Laughing Gull. The only species we missed for the very first time was Western Kingbird. Ash-throated Flycatcher(3) made a nice comeback after being missed last year. In total over the nine Clermont CBCs, 171 species have been recorded.

John Thomton's Clermont Circle registered with the Audubon
Click here, then type "FLCL" in the seach field of the interactive map.

Aside from new species, several species recorded all-time high numbers this year:
- Wood Duck (48 - previous high was 15)
- Blue-winged Teal (27)
- Northern Pintail (2 - only the second appearance of this species on the Clemont CBC)
- Anhinga (115)
- American White Pelican (14 - only the third appearance)
- Least Bittern (2 - only the second appearance)
- Red-shouldered Hawk (81)
- Purple Gallinule (26 - only the third appearance; previous high was 2)
- Common Gallinule (92 - previous high was 62)
- American Woodcock (4)
- Royal Tern (1 - second appearance, so high/low count in this case)
- Great Horned Owl (13)
- Barred Owl (20)
- Red-bellied Woodpecker (172)
- Downy Woodpecker (63)
- Pileated Woodpecker (37)
- Peregrine Falcon (1 - second appearance, so high/low count in this case)
- Carolina Chickadee (27)
- Gray Catbird (224)
- Ovenbird (9)
- Red-winged Blackbird (1443 - previous high was 661, most years between 200-350)
- Eastern Meadowlark (25)
- Common Grackle (835)

A couple species also tied their previous high counts: Marsh Wren (4) and Hermit Thrush (10). Besides missed species, three species that we record every year had their lowest numbers in Clermont CBC history this year:
- Black Vulture (181)
- Northern Harrier (4)
- Red-tailed Hawk (7)

Finally, Ring-necked Duck (6) and Florida Scrub-Jay (3) tied their previous count low number.

Click on the above map to see a larger version.

You will notice some colors on the data. RED denotes species that were found in only one zone, GREEN in only two zones, and BLUE in only three. I do this for a couple of reasons. First of all, it highlights species that we should all be paying special attention for in future CBCs. Secondly, it shows that ALL of the zones found species that we could have very easily missed. Again, I can't say it enough: great job, everyone!!

Open the Final Results of the 9th Annual Clermont Christmas Bird Count
A five-page PDF File will open in a separate browser window.

NOTE - Jay Therien's amazing solo efforts on the Boat Team are incorporated into the totals of Zones 2, 6 and 9. If both the Zone and Jay reported the same species, I took the higher of the two numbers for the Zone. The numbers under the Boat column are not included in the species totals on the right. A special shout-out and THANK YOU goes to Jay for carefully recording and separating his data for each Zone so it was SUPER EASY to incorporate into the Zone totals.

DISNEY CAST MEMBERS - I have already entered your hours on the event in the VoluntEARS system. Please use them towards an Ears to You Grant in early 2022!

Below I'm going to give you some nerdy stats for this year's Clermont CBC. Feel free to look them over if you're interested, but if you're not, I still highly recommend you open the attached files and you look at the data. Please tell me if you have any questions or corrections.

Thank you all once again for the amazing birding! As always, thanks to Bruce and Cathy Brown for graciously and excitedly hosting us again this year at the Scrub Jay Trail! Thank you to their team of volunteers who help with logistics, and to Carrabba's of Clermont for once again providing us with delicious food. Seriously, we should all be getting take-out from there to support them during these times, and dining there in-person to thank them after these times. I hope 2021 is a fun birding year for everyone, and that you can all join us for next year's Clermont CBC!

John Thomton

Audubon Christmas Bird Count
The nation's longest-running community science bird project
fuels Audubon's work throughout the year.

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A Note from the Florida Scrub-jay Trail

What a perfect accounting of what was captured during our 9th Annual Clermont Christmas Bird Count. Thank you so much for all the details. Without John Thomton and all the participants we would not have such a count to contribute to Audubon!

Thank you so much again for our dinner sponsors: Carrabba’s of Clermont who have supported us for the past 9 years. Your wonderful dinner wraps up our count for the day and makes everything so warm and comfortable. What a wonderful ending to a long day!

Our Clermont News Leader and everyone of you is extra special and we so appreciate you!

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History of the Christmas Bird Count

Prior to the turn of the 20th century, hunters engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt." They would choose sides and go afield with their guns—whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.

Conservation was in its beginning stages in that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then-nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition—a "Christmas Bird Census" that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.

So began the Christmas Bird Count. Thanks to the inspiration of Chapman and the enthusiasm of 27 dedicated birders, 25 Christmas Bird Counts were held that day. The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario, to Pacific Grove, California, with most counts in or near the population centers of northeastern North America. Those original 27 Christmas Bird Counters tallied around 90 species on all the counts combined.

Today, From December 14 through January 5 each year, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas brave snow, wind, or rain, and take part in the effort. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this long-running wildlife census to assess the health of birdpopulations, and to help guide conservation action.

The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail

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