Sunday, February 10, 2019

Don't Forget to Count the Birds




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:

 
Red-bellied Woodpecker

American Goldfinch
Carolina Wren
Female Downy Woodpecker

Male Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Cardinal

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.

European Starling

Your help is needed to make the GBBC successful. I hope you participate.

Pamela x



I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited! I look forward to visiting your blog in return.

14 comments:

  1. We have so many of the same birds except for the wren.....I have my dates sand reminders set and the weather may cooperate this year for the first day or so....snow and cold after that will deter the birds keeping them sheltering in the woods. Enjoy your count Pam!

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    1. I'm always hoping a more rare bird will make an appearance during the count. I look forward to seeing your photographs, Donna.

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  2. You get some great birds in your garden, they know where they're well looked after with seed a plenty and heated water dish. It was our birdwatch a couple of weeks ago, I didn't do it this year but we did go to the local bird reserve.

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    1. We don't have a bird reserve near us that I know of. But we have a favorite one that we always visit when we vacation at the Jersey shore. I love going there.

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  3. I'll be counting and reporting once again. I haven't really participated in FeederWatch this winter, but I never miss GBBC!

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  4. I'm always amazed when I see Red Cardinals, such an unusual colours to see free flying around.

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    1. I was amazed, too, Janneke, when I first came here from England.

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  5. Such wonderful photos! Is your water dish solar or electric? I'm sort of hesitant to run an electrical cord in the snow and have been searching for a solar heated water dish but can't seem to find any that are not in the $200 range, around here anyhow. Do you have any suggestions?

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    1. Ours is electric. It's a very low voltage element that we add to a birdbath dish. We have an 'outside' extension cord that is insulated and the outlet is covered. We have never had a problem in rain or snow. The problem with solar (apart from the expense) is it doesn't work on cloudy days so I wouldn't recommend one. This is ours: https://www.amazon.com/Farm-Innovators-B-9-Economical-Birdbath/dp/B000793M68/ref=sr_1_11?crid=2VP0JE9WFN2P&keywords=heater+for+bird+bath&qid=1549899882&s=gateway&sprefix=heater+for+bird+%2Caps%2C606&sr=8-11

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  6. We have those same invasive European starlings here - from Cecil John Rhodes who introduced them.

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  7. I will have to participate in the count, today there were sixteen cardinals at the feeders during the blizzard. I've never seen so many in one place. I have to invest in a better camera so I can take better photos; yours are gorgeous. I love your rooster bird feeder, too!

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  8. We counted yesterday, and there were a lot of birds at the feeder due to the snow storm. My heated birdbath often draw in birds that don't come to the feeder, such as the robins. I just started having starlings at the feeder, which I am trying to get rid of. Usually I pull the feeder down for a couple days and they move on, but it didn't work this time, unfortunately.

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