It is nearly time for the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) when birdwatchers worldwide create a real-time snapshot of where birds are. You can take part in this valuable citizen-science project this year by joining 160,000 people counting birds at any time during February 15-18. I've been participating in this simple activity for several years now and find it very satisfying. It's easy to do: just tally the number and kinds of birds you see for 15 minutes or more on all or any of the days. Enter your results on the GBBC website. Click here for more information on how to get started. After the count you may explore the data collected. I watch the birds through the French doors in the garden room. A birdfeeder and heated water dish lure them into my view. We bought a new feeder this year, shaped like a rooster, with compartments for both a suet block and seeds. The heated water dish is vital during our below-freezing winter temperatures.The pictures in this posting are of a few of the birds I've seen in the last few weeks. The first one at the top of the page is the tufted titmouse, a big favorite of mine. Some other favorites follow:
|Female Downy Woodpecker|
|Male Hairy Woodpecker|
The bird I like least is the European starling. I admire its glossy black feathers that have white spots in the winter and later take on a metalic sheen. I don't like its cruel looking yellow beak and it's bullying nature. The female starling may try to lay an egg in another bird's nest. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, all the starlings in North America descend from 100 set loose in New York's Central Park in the early 1890's.
Your help is needed to make the GBBC successful. I hope you participate.
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