Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Great Backyard Bird Count

Well, our participation didn't turn out to be anything really big.  But we did at least participate this year.  Friday we were out at my parents' place and counted for over an hour.  It was absolutely gorgeous weather, unusually warm for this time of year in this part of the country, and especially welcome after such a cold and snowy winter.  We saw the following:

7 House Sparrows
2 Blue Jays
2 Northern Cardinals, male and female
11 Canada Geese
1 American Robin
1 Carolina Chickadee? (maybe Black-capped)
1 Woodpecker (possibly Black-backed?)

The last two with question marks weren't in the official tally because we weren't 100% certain that's what they were.  Those were our best guesses so I noted in the comments section.  Both would be unusual for this time of year in the location according to the submission form, if we were right.  Peter was the one who saw the woodpecker, and I saw the chickadee.  But we aren't good enough at identifying birds to say for sure.

I'm happy to say that I can finally upload photos again.  However, I have no photos of our birds.  They were pretty fleeting, and I wasn't thinking enough about the camera.  Here is the only photo I got during our bird counting session:

But isn't it cute?  Zion had camped out in her own little spot to watch and stayed there a little while.  Much of the time they were all making quite a bit of noise and running back and forth between what they called their "lodge" (a brushy area by the pond) and where Mom and I were sitting.  Mom and I went various places, hoping to see birds better, but the children still saw most of the birds, and we saw none together until the Canada geese flew overhead!  I saw the chickadee later by myself, just before calling it quits, when I went out front in hopes of finding Peter's woodpecker.

We gave counting a brief try at home on Monday, but without much success. The suburban area where we live isn't nearly as bird-friendly as my parents' place, and it was much colder weather.  We watched over 15 minutes and saw nothing more than some more sparrows and two more geese, and stopped.  If we had a bird feeder we may have had more success, but we don't at this point.  I hope we can participate again next year, and maybe by then we'll have a feeder.

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