The first Illinois Spring Bird Count was Saturday, 6 May 1972; 650 observers counted in 62 counties. Du Page did not participate that
first year, but joined the statewide count in 1973. It started out small. Paul Mooring was the compiler in 1973, reporting 2329 birds of
72 species that were identified by 7 observers in 6 parties, who logged a total of 28 party hours in the field. Paul served as DuPage
compiler until 1986, when Dick Young took over. Young kept the numbers until 1993, then Dick Blewett took over. Blewett retired and moved
to Florida in 1996; Bob Fisher took on the job and has been the compiler ever since.
Participation in the DuPage SBC quickly grew, fielding 32 observers in 1974 that formed 17 parties and reported 101 species. In
subsequent years the number of DuPage observers grew steadily, until in 1993 100+ people fanned out across DuPage. It has remained fairly
stable at 100 or more since then. The data presented in these pages only covers the years from 1990 till the present where this bias is
relatively small (see below). Since it straddles the Kane - Du Page county border the Fermilab site contribution has been less stable and
the data presented here only covers the years from 1997 onward. During this period the Fermilab site count has been mostly confined to the
DuPage portion. The 2008 site counts, however, appear unusually low because a large proportion of the birds counted were reported to the
Kane county count.
All this would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of the many birders who give of their time and expertise to
identify and count our birds on those Saturdays in early May, regardless of weather (On May 8, 1989, for example, compiler Dick Young
reported snow showers and a high of 40oF!). Just like the proverbial postman, 'Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night
stays these birders from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.'
a plot showing how the number of species found on the count has evolved over time or produce
more detailed summary of species counts.
- The highest recorded species count for the entire county was
183 in 2004.
- The highest recorded species count for the Fermilab site was
112 in 2014.
a plot showing how the number of individual birds found on the count has evolved over time or produce
more detailed summary of individual counts. Since the trends in the individual count is dominated by
the Canada Goose count, it may be of interest to also
a plot showing how the number of individual birds without Canada Geese has evolved over time or produce
more detailed summary of those counts.
- The highest recorded individual count for the entire county was
31821 in 1997.
- The highest recorded individual count for the Fermilab site was
1848 in 1997.