A red-breasted sapsucker seen off East End Road was the star of the Christmas Bird Count.-photo by Aaron Lang

A red-breasted sapsucker seen off East End Road was the star of the Christmas Bird Count.-photo by Aaron Lang

Star of Homer’s Christmas Bird Count: rare red-breasted sapsucker

A red-breasted sapsucker was found up Spencer Street on Saturday’s Christmas Bird Count. A rare bird for Homer — only having been seen once or twice here previously — this was a significant find by Aaron Lang and his team covering the north side of East End Road. A spectacular, red Christmas-y bird. 

Other notable birds included an Anna’s hummingbird, ancient murrelet and white-throated sparrow.

The preliminary species count is 64 now, but a few more may be added with reports coming in from feeder watchers. Some hope remains that feeder watchers might have spotted a chestnut-backed chickadee which was not seen by the teams of roving birders. 

Additional species may be added to the Count Week totals — since that period continued until midnight Dec. 22. A final report summary, which will include numbers of birds seen, will be available in a few days.

The weather was fine with everyone happy that the 2-5 predicted inches of snow did not happen. More than 30 volunteers participated, plus many feeder watchers.

A big thank you to the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center for allowing us to use their facility and to Dave Erikson as coordinator of the Count, which, by the way, was the 39th consecutive Christmas Bird Count that he has coordinated here in Homer.

Lani Raymond is a member of  the Kachemak Bay Birders.

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