Northern  Cardinals make an  appearance this year

A black-capped chickadee lands on a feeder in Hibbing Tuesday afternoon. More than 600 of the small common winter birds were counted during this year's annual New Year Day bird count.

Local birdwatchers reported 23 species of birds on Jan. 1 in conjunction with the National Audubon Society’s 122nd Christmas Bird Count, according to preliminary figures.

Christine Olson, local compiler for the Hibbing/Chisholm region, said temperatures for the count at -29 degrees for a low, and -9 for a high, with winds out of the Northwest from 13-16 miles per hour, made for the coldest high temperature of the count in 20 years.

“New Year’s Day was a cold one, but not the coldest Hibbing Christmas Bird Count on record,” Olson said. “The coldest low temp on record was -35 in 1993, and the coldest high temp was -15 in 1957.”

Two Northern Cardinals made an appearance for this year’s count — a male and a female were sighted in Chisholm, Olson noted.

Other notable species reported by feeder watchers were Common Redpolls and Pine Grosbeaks.

“It’s so nice to see those colorful winter finches, though Evening Grosbeaks were elusive, with only one making our list so far,” Olson said.

Ruffed Grouse were scarce this year, with only two seen on New years Day, according to the preliminary report, and there were no wild turkeys.

Olson said the Red-bellied Woodpeckers have made the local count list for several years in a row now, suggesting their range seems to be edging northard.

Here are the preliminary numbers for the local count.

Hairy Woodpecker, 27; Downy Woodpecker, 52; Red-bellied Woodpecker, 3; Pileated Woodpecker, 3; Black-capped Chickadee, 639; Red-breasted Nuthatch, 39; White-breasted Nuthatch, 16; European Starling, 104; Common Raven, 59; Ruffed Grouse, 2; Pine Grosbeak, 90; Blue Jay, 42; Common Redpoll, 167; Rock Pigeon, 125; Northern Cardinal, 2; Purple Finch, 4; Mourning Dove, 8; Bald Eagle, 1; Northern Shrike, 1; Canada Jay, 1; American Crow, 27; Evening Grosbeak, 1; House Finch, 1.

Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.

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