Checklist S64840231

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Owner Joanna Reuter

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Stationary
  • 5
Checklist Comments

Continued activity of a massive overnight blackbird roost with birds arriving in multiple streams. Hard to describe in words the impressive flock dynamics and the associated soundscape. Worth experiencing in person.

We arrived just as activity was beginning to pick up; just a handful of blackbirds were present at arrival.

As with previous evenings, birds initially filled the trees along the perimeter of the field, but then settled into the miscanthus as the evening progressed. When we left, there was only one tree cluster that still had birds in the branches (across the field to the north towards Silver Fork and a bit west from the parking spot--same spot that had birds up in the tree when we left last time, on 2/16).

As we left, birds were mostly settled in the miscanthus, with some still flying low over the miscanthus.

After leaving this site, we drove to N Barnes Road where we had previously observed (and recorded video) of blackbirds roosting in the miscanthus right at the edge of the road; on this visit, the miscanthus in that particular location was unused.

We have now observed repeated roost activity since early January (https://ebird.org/checklist/S63049048 and https://ebird.org/checklist/S63472603). We made two additional trips to the Dunbar Ln location that we did not report on eBird (on 2/11/20 and 2/16/20). Additional details of observations are documented in a series of MOBIRDS-L posts (links below). Each time the show has been similarly spectacular. Since we began reporting this, other birders have observed and reported the same behavior at this location. It is clear that this is a massive and persistent winter blackbird overnight roost, something that to our knowledge has not been documented in central Missouri before.

MOBIRDS-L posts on this topic by first-hand observers (date of post, not observation, listed):
Jan 5, by Joanna (& Eric): https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind2001A&L=MOBIRDS-L&P=27775
Jan 17, by Joanna (& Eric): https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind2001C&L=MOBIRDS-L&P=4460
Feb 12, by Eric (& Joanna): https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind2002B&L=MOBIRDS-L&P=12212
Feb 15, by Eric (& Joanna): https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind2002C&L=MOBIRDS-L&P=1980
Feb 15, by Jean N: https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind2002C&L=MOBIRDS-L&P=4676

Submitted from eBird Android, version 2.0.6

Observations

  1. Number observed: 150
  2. Number observed: 3
  3. goose sp.

    Number observed: 70

    Details: distant, not Snows, but too far away to differentiate between CAGO or Greater White-fronted; could not hear

  4. Number observed: 1

    Details: heard first peent around 6:12 pm; heard multiple peents, but did not see/hear display flight

  5. Sharp-shinned/Cooper's Hawk

    Number observed: 1
  6. Number observed: 1
  7. Number observed: 1

    Details: heard

  8. Number observed: 2

    Details: heard 2 from different directions (and though it does not qualify for the official list, we saw one going after a rabbit along Dunbar Ln on our drive out)

  9. diurnal raptor sp.

    Number observed: 3

    Details: several other distant raptors

  10. Number observed: 10000

    Details: saw two successive substantial flocks fly in from the south that went directly overhead and were starling dominated

  11. Number observed: 5
  12. Number observed: X
  13. Number observed: X
  14. blackbird sp.

    Number observed: 2000000

    Details: after multiple visits and discussions with other observers, we feel confident that numbers are in the millions; we believe 2 million to be conservative; we think that if we are off by an order of magnitude, it is because our estimate is too low, not too high; a roost density of many birds per sq ft over perhaps 40% of the approx 56 acre field; RWBL dominate, but COGRs are also present in substantial numbers

  15. passerine sp.

    Number observed: 5