Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Great Backyard Bird Count

This is the first time I've participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count http://birdsource.org/gbbc . I may have been peripherally aware of it, but until reading about it again on WildlifeGardeners, I'd never done a count.

Yesterday the numbers were pretty slim, but this morning after all the snow we got over night, there were quite a few to count. Despite possibly losing one cardinal to a hawk this morning, I still counted nine in the yard.

Several species of birds that have visited this winter did not show up for the count. I did however get a few pictures to post, and I enjoyed spending more time watching than I usually do.

I've had more variety in the past, but here is what I saw during the half hour I watched:

Mourning Dove 2
Blue Jay 2
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Tufted Titmouse 1
European Starling 10
Song Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 3
Northern Cardinal 9

Normally I see a lot more chickadees, I saw six blue jays later in the day. The nuthatches, Carolina wren, and purple finch that I've seen other days did not show up.

Luckily the European starlings I saw only showed up for a moment. It was a small flock that came to the feeder, but immediately flew off either because they didn't like the black oil sunflower seeds I offer (that is one reason why I do offer only black oil) or because the other birds scared them off--seems unlikely but it kind of looked that way. :)

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