top of page

Christmas Bird Counts 100 years ago: CONNECTICUT and NEW JERSEY (December 1923)

Updated: Jan 3

(male) House Finch (NYBG-Bx) 27 December 2023 Deborah Allen

29 December 2023

Bird Notes: Sunday walks at 9:30am (Central Park) continue...and the weather is looking good this weekend. We are considering do an evening owl walk on 14 January (Sunday night - next day is Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday). Keep an eye on the Schedule Page (click) of our web site.

In our HISTORICAL NOTES we send the results of the late December 1923 Connecticut and NEW JERSEY Christmas Bird Counts that were published in Bird-Lore magazine. In Historical Note (A) we take on Connecticut in late December 1923 with notable sightings in green bold. What stands out is the low numbers of birds (and species) seen, despite most counts lasting for 8 hours or so. There is a mention of one Saw-whet Owl (called Acadian at that time), a flock of Pine Siskins at lone location (= obviously not an irruption year for finches and other seed-eating birds)...and a big deal being made on the sighting of one Ring-billed Gull - today hundreds are reported from coastal Connecticut. We are also surprised at the low number of American Tree Sparrows reported especially since several NJ counts (and NYC and LI counts) had very high numbers on 1923 Christmas Count. Perhaps tree sparrows wintered primarily from southern NYC southwards back then...and these days (2000 onward) winter mostly to our north. And despite Northern Mockingbirds breeding extensively throughout NYC in 2023...not one was seen on any Christmas Bird Count in our area in 1923 (that includes NYC, LI, NJ and Connecticut). And House Finches (see photo above) would not be seen in NYC for another ten years at least...

Historical Note (B) is the 1923 CBC from New Jersey. These counts taken together seem similar enough to what we see in NYC these days such as the occurrence of Eastern Towhee and Grey Catbird in winter - especially the coastal counts (Cape May, Atlantic City) or very southern NJ (Bridgeton). On the other hand, look at some of the high counts for Eastern Meadowlark (150/200); American Tree Sparrow (300); Field Sparrow (200); Rusty Blackbird (1,000) - these are unheard of totals today in NJ. One of the compilers indicates that December 1923 was an exceedingly mild month...with "Carolina Wrens, extirpated six years ago, are returning" - these birds breed in Central Park in 2023. Overall, where were the Cardinals, White-throated Sparrows, Fox Sparrows...Song Sparrows? Finally, one count (Bridgeton) had 50 Turkey Vultures, which on CBC's in 2023 are seen (and counted) all the way to State Line Lookout on the border with NY state - just south of the Tappan Zee (Mario Cuomo) Bridge.

White-breasted Nuthatch NY Botanical Garden (Bx) 27 Dec 2023 Deborah Allen

Bird Walks: 1 January 2024 to 21 January (2024)

All Walks @ $10/person

*For all our walks: no need to book ahead or pay in advance - just show up at the right time and place and away you go with us. Binoculars can be rented for $10 - let us know in advance if possible (one day's notice is fine).

1. Sunday, 7 January 2024 at 9:30am [ONLY!]. Meet at the the BOATHOUSE Restaurant/Cafe at approx. 74th st. and the East Drive. $10. Directions to the Boathouse: CLICK HERE.


2. Sunday, 14 January at 9:30am [ONLY!]. Meet at the the BOATHOUSE Restaurant/Cafe at approx. 74th st. and the East Drive. $10. Directions to the Boathouse: CLICK HERE.


3. Sunday, 21 January at 9:30am [ONLY!]. Meet at the the BOATHOUSE Restaurant/Cafe at approx. 74th st. and the East Drive. $10. Directions to the Boathouse: CLICK HERE.

Call (718-828-8262) or Email us with questions:

Keep an eye on the Schedule as we might be adding a few walks here and there such as the New York Botanical Garden (Bronx - free admission on Wednesdays), and perhaps an Owl walk at night. Any questions send them our way: or call: 718-828-8262 (home)

Ash-throated Flycatcher (western USA species) Pelham Bay Park (Bx) 23 December 2023 Deborah Allen

(below) Vermilion Flycatcher in St. George, Utah on 28 January 2018 Deborah Allen

The fine print: No need to reserve or pay in advance for our bird walks. Just show up at the right time and place and away you go with us. Please pay us at the end of the walk when we reach either Fifth Avenue or Central Park West, and not in the park as we begin.

Our walks on weekends meet on Sundays at 9:30am at the Boathouse Restaurant/Cafe. The meeting location is NOT nearby Conservatory Water with its small buildings and Boathouse for model boats...people make this mistake all the time! Here are directions to the Meeting Locations (CLICK HERE) page of our web site. Bathrooms open at about 7:45am at the Boathouse. The outdoor restaurant opens by about 8:00am, but do note that the prices have been raised considerably (think $6 for a cup of coffee), and the quality of the food has declined, but is still edible. The indoor area is still not open so be prepared to freeze while you drink your expensive (lousy) coffee.

Our home phone is 718-828-8262...and Deborah's cell is: 347-703-5554. Email is ( If you are lost and trying to get to the bird walk, call Deborah's cell phone...but remember on weekends there will be 2-3 other people calling who are also lost - please be patient. If in doubt about whether a walk will take place or not on the morning of the walk: check the "Schedule" page of our web site - if the walk is cancelled, information will be posted there by 6am the day of the walk, and usually by 11pm the night before. If still confused and as a last resort, call us at home - if no one answers it means we left for the bird walk. Walks last about 3 hrs (a bit less if cold or rainy), and you can leave at anytime - we won't be offended. If you need directions/help to your next destination, just ask someone on the walk - we aim to please. We usually end Central Park walks at about noon at the Boathouse where we started.

Northern Mockingbird in Riverdale (the Bronx) 29 December 2023 Pam Chasek PhD

Here is what we saw recently (brief highlights)

Sunday, 24 December 2023: If you come to the bird walk with reduced expectations, expecting to see only the "usual suspects" you will be quite pleasantly surprised to see whatever we can find. For surprises the biggest ones were (2) Brown Thrashers, both at Shakespeare Garden...and it sure seems like these must have been in the park for a few weeks already (and missed on the Christmas Bird Count). Add to these a nearby Eastern Towhee and Grey Catbird and one sure has indications that this is a mild winter. Other highlights were the Red-breasted Merganser at the Reservoir (where are the 100-500 Ruddy Ducks?); and if one walked a bit, it was also possible to get Hooded Merganser (15), lots of Buffleheads; a few Green-winged Teal...but no Double-crested Cormorants?

Deborah's List of Birds for Sunday, 24 December: CLICK HERE 

Wednesday, 27 December 2023 at the NY Botanical Garden (Bronx): It was so slow again today and the very occasional drizzle did not help finding birds. We still can't find the Great Horned Owls that we are fairly certain still nest here (the hemlocks of the former "Hemlock Forest" are almost all gone so nothing for owls to hide in during winter). There were no Wood Ducks or Hooded Mergansers on the Bronx River - very unusual for winter...but still the river gave us nice landscape views. American Robins were still chowing down on crabapples, but no Rusty Blackbirds were in the nearby wetlands...and even Red-winged Blackbirds preferred eating the remaining seeds from Sweetgum pods than getting their feet wet in the "Swale." A Cooper's Hawk here...a Red-tail there...and only one of the two Red-breasted Nuthatches from last week.

Eurasian Eagle-owl near Central Park (approx 82nd st and CPW) 28 December 2023 by Gig @gigpalileo

(below) Watching Couch's Kingbird in lower Manhattan on 26 December 2014 


CONNECTICUT: Bird-Lore’s Twenty-fourth Christmas Census December 1923

Edited by J. T. NICHOLS


The highest number of species recorded in this Census in Canada is 22 at London, Ont., a combined list of six parties working separately. In the Northern and Middle Atlantic States, Cape May, N. J., leads with 48 (several observers); comparable in the northern Mississippi Valley with 32 at Norwood, Ohio (or a combined total of 39 by the Wheaton Club, Columbus, Ohio). Nashville, Tenn., has 51, Anniston, Ala., 41 (one observer), and Back Bay, Va. (three observers, one working independently) 90, which is exceeded only by Santa Barbara with 93 and San Diego, Calif., with 106 (two and three observers, together). We would call attention to the value of the Census for statistical study of local fluctuations in the numbers of winter birds, which may come to the attention of observers. In all reports from Long Island and New York City the White-throated Sparrow averaged 2.86 individuals and was present on 57% of the reports; as against 8.47 and 60% in 1922. Was the supply of White-throats (ordinarily present here) to the north, to the south, or absent? For Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, the same figures in 1923 were 48% and 15%; and in 1922, 80% and 20%. In the states from Maryland to Georgia, however, we find 18.78 and 67%; 6.15 and 69% for 1922, an increase in numbers with almost the same frequency. Carrying the study westward, compared with last year, the numbers have fallen to 4.33 from 8.39 in Pennsylvania, and have risen to 231 from 130.5 in Kentucky and Tennessee (only two reports).


Bristol, Conn. (Northeast quarter). 25 December 1923; 7.45 A.M. to 3.45 P.M. Almost clear; one-half in. snow in woods, copse, and long grass, bare in many places; wind northwest, light at start; west, fresh, and sky overcast at return; temp. 25f at start, 37f at return. Twelve miles on foot, alone. Ruffed Grouse, 2; Small Owl (sp. ? flushed close to me, but saw it only a few feet in flight, probably Acadian [Northern Saw-whet]), 1; Hairy Woodpecker, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 1; Blue Jay, 13; Crow, 14; Starling, 670+; Tree Sparrow, 12; Brown Creeper, 1; White-breasted Nuthatch, 8; Chickadee, 8; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2. Total, 12 species, 733 individuals. A Robin, 2 miles north of territory covered, reported to me, seen today.




Fairfield, Conn. (Birdcraft Sanctuary to Fairfield Beach). 25 December 1923; 6 A.M. to 4 P.M. Ground bare; temp. 26f. Horned Grebe, 3; Red-throated Loon, 4; Herring Gull, 250; American Golden-eye, 20; Old-squaw, 70; Surf Scoter, 100; White-winged Scoter, 600; Buffelhead, 1; Greater Scaup, 35; Black Duck, 18; Red-breasted Merganser, 8; American Merganser, 3; Black-crowned Night Heron, 2; Red-tailed Hawk, 1; Sparrow Hawk [American Kestrel], 1; Downy Woodpecker, 4; Jay, 4; Crow, 3; Starling, 7; White-throated Sparrow, 3; Junco, 7; Song Sparrow, 2; Myrtle [Yellow-rumped] Warbler, 3; Brown Creeper, 1; White-breasted Nuthatch, 2; Chickadee, 7; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 3; Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1. Total, 28 species, 1,226 individuals. Nineteen Canada Geese seen Dec. 24. Ruby-crowned Kinglet is daily visitor, feeding on suet.




Fairfield, Conn. 24 December 1923; 8.15 A.M. to 4.45 P.M. Cloudy in the morning, becoming clear in afternoon, snowing at start; wind northwest, heavy; ground bare, but covered with one-quarter in. snow by the morning storm, which melted off by noon; temp 36f at start, 30f at finish. Sixteen miles on foot, Black-backed Gull, 2; Herring Gull, 325; Ring-billed Gull, 1; Scaup Duck, 12; Golden-eye, 6; Bufflehead, 1; Old-squaw, 45; White-winged Scoter, 240; Surf Scoter, 85; Downy Woodpecker, 4; Horned Lark, 3; Blue Jay, 2; Starling, 125; Goldfinch, 5; Tree Sparrow 17; Junco, 2; Song Sparrow, 2; Myrtle [Yellow-rumped] Warbler, 6; Brown Creeper, 2; White-breasted Nuthatch, 5; Chickadee, 45; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 4. Total, 22 species, 939 individuals. The absence of Crows and the scarcity of the Blue Jay and all Sparrows is remarkable. The Ring-billed Gull was seen standing on a bar with Herring Gulls about an hour before sundown, and was viewed through 7X binoculars from a distance of about 50 yards. Its smaller size, compared to the Herring Gulls, was at once noticeable, and it was certainly identified by the green color of the legs in contrast to the pink legs of the Herring Gulls, the legs of the birds being in good light, owing to the low position of the sun. The bird was an adult, but the ring on the bill was not clear enough from this distance to distinguish it from the other Gulls by this character alone.




Hartford, Conn. 25 December 1923; 10 A.M. to 12.30 P.M. Partly cloudy; ground partly snow-covered; no wind; temp. at start 30f, at return 36f. Hairy Woodpecker, 3; Downy Woodpecker, 4; Blue Jay, 14; Crow, 33; Starling, 48; Goldfinch, 38; Tree Sparrow, 26; Slate-colored Junco, 42; Brown Creeper, 3; White-breasted Nuthatch, 15; Chickadee, 44; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 32. Total, 12 species, 302 individuals




Middletown, Conn. 25 December 1923; 9.30 A.M. to 1 P.M. Cloudy; one in. light snow; light south-cast wind; temp. about 30f. About 6 miles on foot along Connecticut River and through woods and fields. Herring Gull, 2; Hairy Woodpecker, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 1; Blue Jay, 2; Crow, ; Starling, 200; Purple Finch, 4; White-throated Sparrow, 2; Tree Sparrow, 4; Junco, 1; Brown Creeper, 1; Chickadee, 4; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2. Total, 13 species, about 227 individuals, Also, English Sparrow, 1.


W.G. and W.M. CADY.


New London, Conn. 27 December 1923; 8.20 A.M. to 4 P.M. Clear; bare ground; west wind, very light at start, almost none in afternoon; temp. 32f at start. Fifteen miles on foot to Niantic, Pine Grove, and Black Point. Horned Grebe, 10; Great Black-backed Gull, 1; Herring Gull, 15; Black Duck, 15; American [Common] Goldeneye, 11; Bufflehead, 3; Surf Scoter, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 2; Hairy Woodpecker, 1; Crow, 15; Meadowlark, 1; Goldfinch, 1; Tree Sparrow, 1; Junco, 6; Song Sparrow, 3; Cedar Waxwing, 10; Myrtle [Yellow-rumped] Warbler, 6; White-breasted Nut-hatch, 1; Red-breasted Nuthatch, 3; Chickadee, 32; Bluebird, 4. Total, 22 species, 142 individuals. Also many Starlings and English Sparrows. One of the Song Sparrows was singing part of the fall song very softly “under its breath.”"



South Windsor, Conn. 22 December 1923; 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. Cloudy; no wind; temp. 38f to 40f. Seven miles covered. Herring Gull, 7; Merganser, 1; Black Duck, 15; Ring-necked Pheasant, 1; Marsh Hawk, 2; Red-shouldered Hawk, 1; Sparrow Hawk [American Kestrel], 1; Short-eared Owl, 2; Screech Owl, 1; Hairy Woodpecker, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 2; Prairie (? ED.) Horned Lark, 75; Blue Jay, 2; Crow, 25; Starling, 9; Purple Finch, 8; Tree Sparrow, 30; Song Sparrow, 2; Swamp Sparrow, 2; Brown Creeper, 2; White-breasted Nuthatch, 6; Chickadee, 20; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1.




Waterford, Conn. 26 December 1923; 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Ground bare; light west wind, becoming quite strong at 1 o’clock; temp. 34f to 46f. To Gillead and Niantic and back; about 11 miles on foot, 4 miles along water-front. Herring Gull, 150; Scaup Duck, 13; 10 other Ducks not identified; Bob-white, 6; Ring-necked Pheasant, 3; Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1; Red-shouldered Hawk, 2; Downy Woodpecker, 2; Flicker, 3; Blue Jay, 5; Crow, 38; Starling, about 300; Meadowlark, 16; Goldfinch, 4; Pine Siskin, 50 (est.); Tree Sparrow, 35 (est.); Junco, 20; Song Sparrow, 5; Nuthatch, 2; Chickadee, 14; Robin, 2; Bluebird, 5. Total, 21 species, 686 individuals. Also English Sparrow, 8. Two Ruffed Grouse were seen on the 25th.



Grey Squirrel (tri-colored!) Central Park 23 December 2023 Sandra Critelli

NEW JERSEYBird-Lore’s Twenty-fourth Christmas Census December 1923

Atlantic City, N.J. 25 December 1923; 11.20 A.M. to 1.30 P.M., and 2.30 to 4.30 P.M. Cloudy; ground bare; southwest wind; temp. 42f. Eleven miles by automobile to mainland, then a 5-mile walk through fields and woods. Observers together. Herring Gull, 3; Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1; Red-shouldered Hawk, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 2; Blue Jay, 12; Starling, 5; Meadow-lark, 11; Goldfinch, 1; Tree Sparrow, 100; Junco, 70; Song Sparrow, 15; Towhee, 1 (male); we had a close view of the Towhee for at least ten minutes, and heard his call several times; Cardinal, 6; Myrtle Warbler, 11; Tufted Titmouse, 35+; Chickadee, 30+; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 12. Total, 18 species, 407 individuals.




Bridgeton, N.J. 26 December 1923; 6.45 A.M. to 4 P.M. Clear; no snow; very strong northwest wind; temp. 40f. Pied-billed Grebe, 2; Herring Gull, 30; Killdeer, 110; Bob-white, 1; Mourning Dove, 106; Turkey Vulture, 50; Marsh Hawk, 1; Red-tailed Hawk, 2; Red-shouldered Hawk, 1; Sparrow Hawk [American Kestrel], 2; Belted Kingfisher, 2; Downy Woodpecker, 4; Horned Lark, 2; Blue Jay, 2; Crow, 1,000; Fish Crow, 5; Starling, 100; Red-winged Blackbird, 1,000; Meadowlark, 150; Rusty Blackbird, 1,000; Goldfinch, 6; Vesper Sparrow, 3; Savannah Sparrow, 6; Henslow’s [? ED.] Sparrow, 4; White-throated Sparrow, 500; Tree Sparrow, 300; Field Sparrow, 200; Slate-colored Junco, 200; Song Sparrow, 100; Swamp Sparrow, 3; Fox Sparrow, 3; Towhee, 1; Cardinal, 80; Pipit, 1; Carolina Wren, 4; Winter Wren, 1; Brown Creeper, 3; Tufted Titmouse, 2; Chickadee, 25; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 200; Robin, 12; Bluebird, 1. Total, 42 species, 5,225 individuals.



Cape May, N.J. 23 December 1923. Rain a.m., heavy clouds and fog thereafter, a dismal day; wind east, light; temp. 60f. Observers in two groups. Holbeell’s [Red-necked] Grebe, 5; Horned Grebe, 14; Loon, 6; Red-throated Loon, 2; Herring Gull, 62; Ring-billed Gull, 10; Gannet, 1; Golden-eye, 1; Scoter, 6; White-winged Scoter, 8; Surf Scoter, 6; Great Blue Heron, 2; Bob-white, 1; Turkey Vulture, 2; Marsh Hawk, 2; Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2; Red-shouldered Hawk, 1; Sparrow [American Kestrel] Hawk, 7; Kingfisher, 1; Hairy Woodpecker, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 1; Flicker, 1; Horned Lark, 60; Crow, 300; Fish Crow, 10; Starling, 150; Meadowlark, 200; Purple Finch, 1; Goldfinch, 3; Vesper Sparrow, 2; Ipswich Sparrow, 4; Savannah Sparrow, 20; Sharp-tailed Sparrow, 1; White-throated Sparrow, 10; Tree Sparrow, 54; Field Sparrow, 35; Junco, 23; Song Sparrow, 24; Swamp Sparrow, 4; Towhee, 1; Cardinal, 20; Tree Swallow, 251; Myrtle Warbler, 140; Pipit, 13; Carolina Wren, 3; Short-billed Marsh Wren, 1 (a close, satisfactory view); Carolina Chickadee, 6; Bluebird, 2. Total, 48 species, 1,480 individuals. Also House Sparrow, 19.




Elizabeth, N.J. 25 December 1923; 8.30 A.M. to 2 P.M. Clear, to cloudy; shifting wind; no snow; tide high on marsh; temp. 28f at start, rising. About 12 miles on foot between shores of Newark Bay and Milburn; car through towns. Herring Gull, 75; Ring-billed Gull, 2; Bonaparte’s Gull, 50; Black Duck, 1; Ring-necked Pheasant, 1; Marsh Hawk, 4; Red-shouldered Hawk, 1; Sparrow Hawk [American Kestrel], 1; Short-eared Owl, 1; Screech Owl, 1; Hairy Woodpecker, 2; Downy Woodpecker, 5; Horned Lark, 6; Blue Jay, 5; American Crow, 8; Starling, 24; Meadowlark, 3; Purple Finch, 4; White-throated Sparrow, 5 (singing); Tree Sparrow, 25; Field Sparrow, 6; Slate-colored Junco, 25; Song Sparrow, 7; Cardinal, 3; Carolina Wren, 1; Winter Wren, 2; White-breasted Nuthatch, 5; Tufted Titmouse, 4; Black-capped Chickadee, 28. Total, 29 species; about 305 individuals. Fresh signs of Barred Owl at old roost.




Kirkwood, Camden County, N.J. (12 miles from Philadelphia). 24 December 1923; 10.30 A.M. to 4 P.M. Clear, no snow on ground; wind north, 20 to 25 miles an hour; temp. 37f at start, 35f at return. Five miles along small stream and lake and through pitch pine woods. Hawk (Sharp-shinned?), 3; Crow, 12; Starling, 14; Goldfinch, 18; White-throated Sparrow, 1; Tree Sparrow, 2; Slate-colored Junco, 11; Song Sparrow, 9; Cardinal, 2 (male and female); Red-breasted Nuthatch, 2; Chickadee, 1. Total, 11 species, 75 individuals. One Song Sparrow song—4 notes. One Goldfinch song—4 notes.



MacGillivray's Warbler in Riverdale, the Bronx on 24 Dec 2023 Deborah Allen 

Upper Montclair, N.J., and adjacent region (Brookdale, West Paterson, Little Falls, Great Notch). 24 December 1923; 7.45 A.M. to 4 P.M. (R. H. H.; others at intervals during day). Over-cast, with snow flurries, to clear; wind, strong northeast to northwest; temp. 34f at start, 36f at return. About 11 miles. Observers together and separate. Red-shouldered Hawk, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 2; Blue Jay, 8; Crow, 19; Starling, 32; Pine Siskin, about 30 (flock); White-throated Sparrow, 1; Tree Sparrow, 12; Chipping Sparrow, 2 (seen at close range by R. B.; brownish bill, small size, unspotted breast, etc., noted); Song Sparrow, 13; Junco, 25; Brown Creeper, 1; White-breasted Nuthatch, 2; Chickadee, 17; Robin, 2; Bluebird, 7. Total, 16 species, about 174 individuals.




Moorestown, N.J. 25 December 1923; 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. Partly cloudy at start, becoming overcast about 10.30; light southwest wind; temp. 30f at start, 40f at return. Visited localities by automobile within 6-mile radius of Moorestown, N. J.; about 5 miles on foot. Observers together. Herring Gull, 1; American [Common] Merganser, 3; Great Blue Heron, 1; Killdeer, 7; Turkey Vulture, 2; Red-tailed Hawk, 1; Hawk (Buteo, other than Red-tailed Hawk), 1; Sparrow Hawk [American Kestrel], 2; Hairy Woodpecker, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 4; Horned Lark, 5; Blue Jay, 4; Crow, 350; Starling, 2; Goldfinch, 30; White-throated Sparrow, 15; Tree Sparrow, 17; Junco, 200; Song Sparrow, 40; Cardinal, 17; Winter Wren, 1; Brown Creeper, 2; White-breasted Nuthatch, 5; Red-breasted Nuthatch, 3; Tufted Titmouse, 1; Chickadee, 31; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2. Total, 27 species, about 1,248 individuals.




Newark, N.J. 26 December 1923; 9 to 10 A.M. Branch Brook Park; 10.40 A.M. to 3 P.M. Caldwell to Clinton to Horseneck Bridge to Pine Brook to West Caldwell; 3.45 to 4.30 p.m. Branch Brook Park. Clear, ground bare; wind boisterous; temp. 36f to 40f. Distance walked about 11 miles. Red-tailed Hawk, 2; Hairy Woodpecker, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 6; Crow, about 600; Starling, 3,000 (conservative est.); Goldfinch, 3; White-throated Sparrow, 11; Tree Sparrow, 5; Slate-colored Junco, 23; Song Sparrow, 2; Brown Creeper, 3; White-breasted Nuthatch, 7; Tufted Titmouse, 1; Chickadee, 36. (There is just a possibility of duplication in the number of Crows. I estimated a flock in and around a piece of woods at 11.30 at 300, and on my return at 3 P.M. by a parallel road counted 290 flying over from that direction.) Total, 14 species, about 3,700 individuals.




Overpeck Creek, Phelps Estate and West Englewood, N.J. 24 December 1923; 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. Snowing A.M., clearing P.M. Herring Gull, 4; Black Duck, 2; Marsh Hawk, 2; Red-tailed Hawk, 2; Sparrow Hawk [American Kestrel], 1; Barred Owl, 1; Hairy Woodpecker, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 3; Crow, 6; Starling, 200; Meadowlark, 3; Goldfinch, 3; Pine Siskin, 28; Vesper Sparrow, 4 (white outer tail feathers and chestnut wing patch); White-throated Sparrow, 6; Tree Sparrow, 25; Field Sparrow, 1; Junco, 12; Song Sparrow, 5; Brown Creeper, 4; White-breasted Nuthatch, 1; Tufted Titmouse, 3; Chickadee, 15; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1; Robin, 1. Total, 25 species, 322 (approx.) individuals.




Plainfield, N.J. (to Ash Swamp and back). 25 December 1923; 7.50 A.M. to 5.20 P.M. Fair, becoming overcast; ground bare, thin ice on pools; little wind; temp. little above freezing. Ring-necked Pheasant, 1; Mourning Dove, 2 (together); Red-tailed Hawk, 2; Red-shouldered Hawk, 2; Barred Owl, 3; Hairy Woodpecker, 4; Downy Woodpecker, 13; Blue Jay, 9; American Crow, 175; Fish Crow, 1; Starling, 13; Purple Finch, 1; Goldfinch, 6; White-throated Sparrow, 3; Tree Sparrow, 34; Field Sparrow, 3; Junco, 30; Song Sparrow, 12; Swamp Sparrow, 1; Fox Sparrow, 1; Myrtle Warbler, 3; Winter Wren, 1; Brown Creeper, 4; White-breasted Nuthatch, 5; Tufted Titmouse, 4; Black-capped Chickadee, 12; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 3; Bluebird, 6. Total, 28 species, 354 individuals. Also House Sparrow, 38.




Princeton, N.J. (to Kingston, Port Mercer, and Mount Rose and back). 27 December 1923: 7.15 A.M. to 5.45 P.M. Heavily clouded from 10.30 A.M.; ground bare; lake and brooks open; little wind; temp. 34f  at start, 39f at 1 P.M. Seventeen miles on foot, 2 by autobus; Carnegie Lake, Stony Brook, and red-cedar groves. Killdeer, 6 (1 flock); Red-tailed Hawk, 1; Sparrow Hawk [American Kestrel], 1; Long-eared Owl, 1; Belted Kingfisher, 1; Hairy Woodpecker, 5; Downy Woodpecker, 10; Horned Lark, 1; American Crow, 1,300; Fish Crow, 25; Starling, 35 (in song); Purple Finch, 17 (1 flock); Goldfinch, 5; White-throated Sparrow, 4; Tree Sparrow, 67; Junco, 53; Song Sparrow, 21; Swamp Sparrow, 2; Cardinal, 8; Black and White Warbler, 1; Winter Wren, 3; Brown Creeper, 6; White-breasted Nuthatch, 13; Tufted Tit, 11 (2 in song); Black-capped Chickadee, 10; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 3; Bluebird, 3 males (1 flock). Total, 27 species, about 1,615 individuals. Also House Sparrow, 73. Repeated and excellent opportunities to observe the Black and White Warbler, once for a satisfactory period within 11 feet of me, together with a twenty-five year familiarity with this common species, leaves me no doubt of the identification; it was feeding characteristically in the woods, in company with a Creeper, Downy, and Kinglets, and seemed in as good shape as they. It and the Killdeer (also carefully observed), and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet on Dec. 16, have been the only laggards noted by me this exceedingly mild month. Marsh Hawks, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Flickers, Blue Jays, Meadowlarks, Siskins, White-throated Sparrows, and Robins seem unusually scarce or absent. Carolina Wrens, extirpated six years ago, are returning.




Ridgewood, N.J. 26 December 1923. Clear; ground frozen and slight snow previous night; cold wind; temp. 34f to 40f. Two observers. One, 7.45 A.M. to 3 P.M., visited several localities in the village; other, 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., tramped over the country southwest to High Mountain. Barred Owl, 2; Hairy Woodpecker, 3; Downy Woodpecker. 9; Blue Jay, 4; Starling, about 100; Crow, 50+; Purple Finch, 13+; Goldfinch, about 25; Tree Sparrow, 7; Junco, about 40; Song Sparrow, 4; White-breasted Nuthatch, 8; Red-breasted Nuthatch, 6; Tufted Titmouse, 3; Chickadee, 25+. Total, 15 species, about 300 individuals.




Westfield, N.J. 27 December 1923; 9.30 A.M. to 3 P.M. Clear, soon overcast, approaching snow; little wind; temp. 35f to 40f. To Echo Lake, Watchung Mountain, and Brown’s Pond — about 10 miles on foot. Observers together. Ring-necked Pheasant, 1; Hairy Woodpecker, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 8; Blue Jay, 10; American Crow, 12; Starling, 26; Purple Finch, 4; Goldfinch, 5; Tree Sparrow, 13; Junco, 22; Myrtle Warbler, 5; Brown Creeper, 1; White-breasted Nuthatch, 5; Black-capped Chickadee, 31; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1. Total, 15 species, 145 individuals. Also 69 House Sparrows.




Deborah Allen and Robert DeCandido PhD

Follow our Bird Sightings on Twitter: @DAllenNYC and/or @BirdingBobNYC

[below] White-browed Coucal in MkoMazi National Park Tanzania on 23 November 2023 Deborah Allen

We'll send more of our bird photos from Tanzania taken in Nov-Dec in a January Newsletter


bottom of page