CdA Audubon YARDLIST CHALLENGE – 2016 & 2017

I have to lead off with an apology.  While I did actually compile the Great CdA Audubon Yard List Challenge for 2016, you may have noted it never made it to the website – that was my bad even though Shirley did keep on me.  So with that admission out there, thought I’d some up those result before moving on to 2017.

Nine (9) yards did actually report their lists for 2016 spotting a total of 117 species.  This was a pretty good outcome overall (10 year average = 113) considering the low number of yards.  A total of nine (9) species were seen by everyone – the usual cast of characters (Calliope Hummingbird, Northern Flicker, Black-capped & Mountain Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, and Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)) plus a couple of surprises (Black-headed Grosbeak and American Goldfinch).  Speaking of surprises, we always have a few.  In 2016, twenty-six (26) species showed up only in a single yard.  Of these, it is always tough to pick a “winner”, but the Purple Finch at the Ward’s, and the White-winged Crossbill at the Zagar’s certainly were unusual.  The Buchler’s, Farr’s, and Sturts’ provided much of the waterfowl while the Hanson’s place came through again with many Chain Lakes specialties.

So again, I am sorry about the slip in 2016, but now on to what we collectively saw in 2017.  Once again, we had nine (9) yard participate this year, but our total species seen dropped to 105.  Contributing to this lower than average result were several big misses, notably Pacific Wren, Swainson’s Thrush, Nashville, McGillivray’s, Townsend’s and Wilson’s Warblers all of which had been seen most every year for the past 17 years.  Following this trend, only seven (7) species were seen in everyone’s yard (California Quail, Northern Flicker, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon), and Pine Siskin). 

Notwithstanding this seemingly bad year, there are always bright spots that keeps this challenge fun.  This year twenty (20) species were seen in only a single yard, a few of which had only been spotted couple of times in the past 10 years: the Waring’s American Kestrel, the Robertson’s Least Flycatcher, the Moen’s Northern Shrike, the Hanson’s Bewick’s Wren & American Redstart, and the Ward’s Veery.  Anna’s Hummingbirds continued to show up in our area with a nice female (“Louise”) staying at the Janet Callen’s place for several weeks.  Finally, and always a treat were Northern Pygmy Owls at the Sayler’s and Sturts’ places.

Here’s to a good year around your yard in 2018, and if you do keep track please forward your list to me ( to continue our successful Coeur d’Alene Audubon Yard List Challenge.

See 2016 Yardlist Chart

See 2017 Yarlist Chart