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Fifty years of early winter bird counts in Harvey County, Kansas

Fifty years of early winter bird counts in Harvey County, Kansas

Kansas Ornithological Society Bulletin e; 54(2): 21-36

The Halstead-Newton Christmas Bird Count in south central Kansas was done annually from 1949 through 1998. One hundred twenty species were recorded on the 50 counts. Median numbers seen per 10 party hours for the 47 species observed on at least half of the counts were compared for the five decades using Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance. Characteristics of the counts and weather preceding the counts were also compared. Nineteen species showed no statistically significant differences in the medians for the five decades and 9 species showed significant fluctuations but no significant trend. These included most of the permanent residents, year-round residents that are migratory and winter residents. Fourteen species, including most of the summer residents and migratory species that have small wintering populations, showed significant increases in median numbers for the five decades. These also included the Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Cedar Waxwing and the exotic European Starling and Rock Dove. Five species, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, Great Horned Owl, American Crow and Tufted Titmouse, showed significant decreases. The Hairy Woodpecker and American Tree Sparrow made consistent but non-significant decreases. Two species, House Finch and Wild Turkey, spread into the count area during the five decades.

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