Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Columbus Park Abundance Graphs January 14, 2016

This page includes a series of graphs that show the abundance of various bird species in Columbus Park over an eight year time span. The data was collected by my sons and me as we monitored birds for Bird Conservation Network. From spring 2007 until the present, we have tried to visit Columbus Park about once a week, year round, to count all the birds we see and hear along a three-mile transect. That transect covers both the area around the park’s large lagoon and the perimeter of the golf course (with a few side trips to small sanctuary areas that are on the golf course).

The data for these graphs was generated from an eBird feature called “Detailed Year Report,” which can be accessed either under the Explore Data tab on the eBird website (Summary Tables — Your Data link at the bottom of the page) or under the My Data tab (Summarize My Observations link on the right-side menu). eBird can produce a range of tables for any year and location for which one has collected data; however, the tables only show one year at a time. Therefore, I copied each eBird table into an Excel file (one spreadsheet page for each year). Then I copied all the data for each species onto a single line of a master spreadsheet page. I could then use Excel to create graphs that showed abundance for that species over multiple years.

For the series of graphs on this page, I plotted the High Count for the given species for each month, 2007 through 2014. (Later I will add some commentary about the use of High Counts, probably at the bottom of this page.) To see a larger version of each graph, just click on the image on this page. A larger version of that image will be opened as a separate page. I include commentary about each graph, which only appears on this page, not with the enlarged image.

HERE’S AN EXAMPLES OF THE SORTS ON NARRATIVES THAT CAN EVENTUALLY ACCOMPANY THESE IMAGES:

Canada Goose

This abundance graph for Canada Goose shows a dramatic increase each fall and then steep decreases in population during the late spring and summer months. The winter goose population migrates here from further north. (For instance, we’ve found marked geese that were banded in Thunder Bay, Ontario). The geese spend the winter feeding on golf course and lawn grasses. Some years the goose graph shows a mid-winter drop, often to zero. This happens when there is a month-or-longer snow cover of at least several inches–too deep for the geese to push aside and graze. During some summers one or two pairs of geese successful raise a brood in the park. Other years there are no breeding geese, due to human or coyote action, and the Park’s goose population drops to zero in July.

ColumbusCAGO

THERE’S A LOT I CAN SAY ABOUT EACH OF THE IMAGES, BELOW:

Wood Duck

ColumbusWODU

Mourning Dove

ColumbusMODO

Chimney Swift

ColumbusCHSW

Downy Woodpecker

ColumbusDOWO

Northern Flicker

ColumbusNOFL

Blue Jay

ColumbusBLJA

American Crow

ColumbusAMCR

Swainson’s Thrush

ColumbusSWTH

American Robin

ColumbusAMRO

Gray Catbird

ColumbusGRCA

Cedar Waxwing

CEWA-Columbus-Titled

Northern Cardinal

ColumbusNOCA

White-throated Sparrow

ColumbusWTSP

Song Sparrow

ColumbusSOSP

Fox Sparrow

ColumbusFOSP

Dark-eyed Junco and American Tree Sparrow

ColumbusDEJU-ATSP

Red-winged Blackbird

ColumbusRWBL

Common Grackle

ColumbusCOGR

House Finch

ColumbusHOFI

American Goldfinch

ColumbusAMGO

House Sparrow

ColumbusHOSP

 

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