Saturday, February 16, 2008

Great Backyard Bird Count

This weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is a chance for all of us - hard-core birders, backyard birdwatchers, or brand new birders - to become "citizen scientists." Simply watch and count birds, then submit your totals to Cornell's web site and you have contributed.

Just remember, when you count, you only count the highest number of birds you see at one time. In other words, if a chickadee flies to your feeder, flies away with a seed, and flies back 25 times, it is only one bird, not twenty-five. If you see one at your feeder and one on a tree waiting its turn, then you can count two chickadees. (Chickadees are the hardest birds to count, if you ask me, because of this feeding style. I know I have to have more than two, but I only ever see one at a time!)

The count goes on all weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and you can participate for all or part of that time. I worked Friday, and it looks like Sunday will be a cold, wet, windy day, but here are my numbers for Saturday:

Turkey Vulture- 1
Mourning Dove- 20
Red-bellied Woodpecker- 2
Downy Woodpecker- 3
Blue Jay- 6
Carolina Chickadee- 2
Tufted Titmouse- 2
White-breasted Nuthatch- 2
Carolina Wren- 1*
Eastern Bluebird- 1
Northern Mockingbird- 1
European Starling- 7
Song Sparrow- 1
White-crowned Sparrow- 1
Dark-eyed Junco- 3
Northern Cardinal- 6
Brown-headed Cowbird- 5
House Finch- 30
American Goldfinch- 30
House Sparrow- 6

* Yes, I saw a Carolina Wren in my "bluebird-style" feeder today, leaving with a chunk of suet dough. It is the first one I have seen in my yard since this time last winter. Whoot!


Susan Gets Native said...

You've gotta get out to Armleder, girl. SEOW's, pipits...I almost called you today while I was there, but then I always want to call you when I am there.
Glad your wren found you again!

Mary said...

Yay! Carolina Wrens are sweet.

I did one count today and the Cardinals stole the show, outnumbering finches and doves. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Kathy said...

I did the bird count last year for the first time. It was so much fun that I've been looking forward to it again this year. It is also on Monday, the 18th, for those who can do it.
The last two days I have gotten up to 2 chickadees, 4 juncos, 30 house finches, 15 white crowned sparrows, 2 American goldfinches, 7 red winged blackbirds, 10 house sparrows, 79 California quail and 1 sharp shinned hawk. At one point the hawk was in the tall locust tree munching his unidentifiable mid afternoon snack.

donaldthebirder said...

I have a couple of wrens singing at my place. I think the bluebirds got hit the hardest - I usually get some on the GBBC. I very rarely get White-crowned Sparrows here in winter. My list is posted on my blog.

Lisa said...

*11* mockingbirds? Holy cow. How on earth did they keep track of who was singing what?

KatDoc said...

Sorry, 11 mockers was a typo - I only saw 1. Geez, I hope I didn't submit the wrong data to Cornell!


Kathy said...

I saw 3 robins in my locust tree at 10 am Sunday. Last winter my first robins seen were also during the great backyard birdcount weekend as well, so I was hoping they would show up in time to be counted this year. Final day of the count, so back to counting!