[va_co_birding] playing with number

  • From: Susan Heath <sheath@xxxxxxx>
  • To: VA County Birds <va_co_birding@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 21:39:10 -0400

Hey County Birders,
Do we still exist?  I created a rather elaborate set of spreadsheets to 
keep track of which counties and cities I have birds in and now I can 
tell with the flip a mouse how many birds I have and where.  At least 
until I forget to update them and they get all out of whack.  Anyway, 
that led to playing around with some numbers.  I have bird lists for 40 
counties and 11 cities so let's say 51 "areas".  I made a list of birds 
which I have in 30 or more in those 51 areas and I found the list of 
species to be interesting.  I eliminated starling, rock pigeon, and 
house sparrow from the mix and used native species only. Naturally the 
list is comprised of mostly resident birds but four neotropical migrants 
made the cut - Barn Swallow, Chimney Swift, Indigo Bunting, and Red-eyed 
Vireo.  These four are hard to miss if you're looking (or listening in 
the case of the latter two) in spring and summer so I guess that makes 
sense.  This list could be skewed a little bit by the fact that I have 
not birded at all in the southwestern part of the state.  Some night 
when I'm bored again, I'll go through and see where some other neotrops 
lie in the order of things.  Interesting, this little game.  Here is the 
list in order of abundance from highest to lowest (this is counties and 
cities combined but the order changes very little if I do counties only):

Common Grackle
Mourning Dove
Barn Swallow
Chimney Swift
Carolina Wren
American Robin
Northern Cardinal
Northern Mockingbird
Canada Goose
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Turkey Vulture
American Crow
Blue Jay
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Chickadee
Song Sparrow
American Goldfinch
Black Vulture
Indigo Bunting
Great Blue Heron
Red-eyed Vireo


Susan A. Heath
George Mason University
Environmental Science Department
Fairfax, VA

Secretary, Virginia Avian Records Committee
Keeper, Virginia Comp List at www.virginiabirding.org

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