[Tweeters] Washington county year list project 2009 summary

mattxyz at earthlink.net mattxyz at earthlink.net
Wed Jan 20 05:58:52 PST 2010

Hi Tweeters & INWBers -

The 2009 county year-list project is completed and posted on-line at

This is the 4th year we've worked on this project, with someone
keeping track of the sightings in each of the 39 counties in WA.
While individual county listing is fun, the idea behind this project
is to try to keep track of the 'community' list: all the birds seen
by anyone, rather than just those seen by one person. The result is
something of a picture of the birds of Washington for 2009.

I'll post a separate message soon w/ the names of the compilers for
the 2010 iteration of this project. I'm grateful to have almost
everyone returning for a job that takes a lot of work to do.

Here are a few summary details on the outcomes:

Overall, 2009 saw lower numbers at the state level, but increasing
numbers in some of the harder-to-bird corners of the state. The
state year list total was 389 species, down from 395 in 2008 and from
400 in 2007. Totals for Eastern WA and Western WA were both down for
the year as well. (Note that these 'declines' have nothing to do, I'd
assume, with any sort of population declines or increases -- a simple
count at the species level doesn't have anything to say about that, I
believe, on a year-over-year basis)

Some interesting 'misses' for the state year list, would include:
Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Little Gull,& Alder Flycatcher. 72 species
were reported in all 39 counties [up from 56 last year]. 28 species
were reported in just one county.

In 2009, 29 counties recorded over 200 species -- the same number to
reach this level as last year. At the lower end, all 39 counties made
it over 150 species for their year lists -- a first for the project.

The counties w/ the highest totals were:
Okanogan 267
Clallam 266
Grays Harbor 265
Walla Walla 251
Skagit 250
Yakima 249
Grant 248
King 247
Snohomish 242
Pacific 241

9 of those counties were in the 'top 10' last year as well [welcome
aboard, Pacific Co], but eight of those 10 counties reported lower
totals than last year.

Since some counties have a bigger 'base' list of possible species
than others , we also compared the percentage of the county list seen
in each county. The 13 counties that tallied more than 75% of their
county list include:

Okanagon 87.25%
Stevens 79.49%
Klickitat 79.21%
Spokane 78.74%
Yakima 78.3%
Douglas 77.59%
Adams 77.59%
Grant 77.02%
Lincoln 77.00%
Mason 75.98%
Garfield 75.78%
Pend Oreille 75.28%
Walla Walla 75.15%

Ten of these counties were over 75% last year as well, but we added
Mason, Garfield & Stevens to the group.

I look forward to seeing what 2010 holds -- look for another message
before long w/ details on how to help by reporting your outings to
county compilers.

Good birding,

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

More information about the Tweeters mailing list