This column is the first of three summarizing results of some of the recent Christmas Bird Counts. We’ll cover some inland sites in today’s report.

The Lewiston-Auburn count, held Dec. 20, yielded a count of 44 species. A singleton green-winged teal was found, always a good inland winter sighting. The 28 lesser scaup were noteworthy finds. The raptor diversity was decent, with a dozen bald eagles, four cooper’s hawks, nine red-tailed hawks and one rough-legged hawk.

Nine red-breasted nuthatches were a nice total in a winter where this species is uncommon. Lingering species included five eastern bluebirds and a hermit thrush.

Finches were scarce with only four species found, including 25 purple finches and four pine siskins.

A bit north, the Hartland count on Dec. 27 produced a count of 35 species. A northern pintail was an excellent find. Three bald eagles and two red-tailed hawks were the only raptors tallied. Sixteen red-breasted nuthatches were notable.

A brave great blue heron was found; some open water must have been present. Only two finch species were found (41 pine siskins and 75 American goldfinches).

Counters on the Farmington count, held Dec. 20, found only 30 species. The only aquatic birds were three common loons. A lone bald eagle was the only bird of prey.

Seven Eastern bluebirds were surprising discoveries, as were the 79 American robins. Both waxwings were present: 79 cedar waxwings and two Bohemian waxwings.

We continue to build evidence that this winter is a poor one for irruptive finches. In Farmington, the only finches were 14 house finches, 15 pine siskins and 93 American goldfinches.

The Unity count was also held Dec. 20. This count was excellent with 49 species found, reflecting in part the army of 44 observers. Unusual species included a wood duck, a merlin, a gray catbird and a savannah sparrow.

The Waldo count had a strong wild turkey population, with 337 found. Other game birds found were four ruffed grouse and a ring-necked pheasant.

Two owls were found: one great horned owl and three barred owls. A red-bellied woodpecker was a pleasant surprise.

One Northern shrike was a nice find for a winter where this irruptive species seems scarce. Snow buntings put on a good show with 103 tallied.

Six species of finches were found, including a single purple finch, 14 common redpolls and two evening grosbeaks. Reflecting the high degree of participation, record high counts were tallied for 18 of the 49 species.

We’ll move over to Sweden for a look at the results of their Dec. 27 count. Participants found 44 species, including five species along with five common loons.

Four bald eagles and a red-tailed hawk were expected, but not the lingering American kestrel, a hardy bird indeed. A snowy owl and a barred owl rounded out the birds of prey.

Red-breasted nuthatches were well represented with 45 found. Forty-five American robins were notable.

Only two finch species were found: six pine siskins and 92 American goldfinches. The highlight of the count was an eye-popping rose-breasted grosbeak. Most members of this species are in Central America or northern South America.

We’ll end with a stop in northern Somerset Count in Misery Township. The tough winter weather is inhospitable and bird diversity is usually low. The Jan. 2 count was typical, with 14 species found and 193 individuals. Three gray jays were delightful but expected in this part of the state. The only finches were five common redpolls.

Herb Wilson teaches ornithology and other biology courses at Colby College. He welcomes reader comments and questions at

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