2012 Las Cruces CBC Highlights

Total species seen on the 2012 Las Cruces Christmas Bird Count was about 108, total number of individuals about 31,300.  Some brief highlights and lowlights appear below:

Low numbers of waterfowl (2nd year with no water), including no gulls, no Common Gallinule and only 3 Coots.

New record high for both Rock Pigeon (1,902) and Eurasion Collared-Dove (254).  White-winged Doves (8,198) are still the highest in the nation.

Only two hummingbirds seen; only 1 Anna’s and 1 unidentified hummer; I think we were getting spoiled the past several years with numerous Rufous and scattered Broad-taileds.

Sapsuckers - 1 Yellow-bellied (typical), but only 1 Red-naped (not typical - we usually have 5+).

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (3) hard to find, hard to find, hard to find since the deep freeze/drought of 2 years ago.

Norther Parula (1) not new for the count, but nice to see some color!

Generally low numbers and/or distribution of sparrows;  Canyon Towhee (13, near record low), Vesper Sparrow (3), Sage Sparrow (1), Lark Bunting (1), Lincoln’s Sparrow (6-no water).

But, for the first time ever we had the Zonotrichia Grand Slam:  White-throated, White-crowned, Harris’s, AND Golden-crowned Sparrow.

Finches and allies made a good showing:  House Finch (1,394), Red Crossbill (26), Pine Sisken (37), Lesser Goldfinch (147), Lawrence’s Goldfinch (2) and American Goldfinch (1)

Submitted by David Griffin

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