The tally is in for the 2020 Central Alberta Christmas Bird Count.
Red Deer River Naturalists reported 40 species were identified, up from 49 in 2019, while the number of individual birds fell to 6,605 individual birds, from 7,536.
Interesting birds spotted included a common loon at Dickson Dam, a killdeer at River Bend Golf Course, and two American coots, which have been seen only twice since 1986 (in 1994 and 2011).
A great grey owl and a red-winged blackbird were also seen during the week of the count.
Among the largest number of birds seen, there were 1,337 bohemian waxwings, 859 black-capped chickadees, 829 rock pigeons, 652 house sparrows, 531 black-billed magpies, 473 common ravens, 410 common redpolls, 211 pine grosbeaks, 142 blue jays, 131 mallards, and 122 downy woodpeckers, and 112 Canada geese.
The highest number of species recorded since 1986 was in 2004 with 61 species, and the highest number of individual birds recorded was in 2005 with 14,540 birds counted.
A total of 116 people participated in the count, up from 86 in 2019.