Record Year For Red-Bellied Woodpeckers During Christmas Bird Count

Jan 1, 2015

Counts of red-bellied Woodpeckers were unusually high this year.
Credit Jeff Finn / Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/44459766@N02/6385935213

It was a record year for red-bellied woodpeckers in New Hampshire. That's the word from New Hampshire's birders as the international Christmas Bird Count tradition comes to a close.

Overall, bird enthusiasts from 21 regions across the state are reporting both high individual bird counts, and high species counts.  

Phil Brown with NH Audobon says numbers are up in Southern New Hampshire especially. He notes high counts of black-capped chickadees and downy woodpeckers. But, he sas,  "most notably this year,  red-bellied woodpeckers are showing up in record numbers all over the state." 

Brown says climate change is playing a role. Warmer weather birds are sticking around later into the winter season,  and new species like the red bellied wood peckers are making the state their home. 

The Christmas Bird Count began in 1900 as an outdoor activity that could be done instead of hunting. But now, Brown says, the Christmas Bird Count has become a valuable tool for conservation scientists.