Nancy Barber (nlbarber) wrote,
Nancy Barber

Great Backyard Bird Count

Prompted by a mention on Elizabeth Moon's SFF newsgroup, I decided to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count this year. It's over the 4-day weekend, and basically you just identify the birds you see and count the maximum number of each species that you see at one time. I'm not planning any extraordinary activity for this--just seeing what shows up in my yard. I wasn't expecting much as the feeder activity remains low thanks to the mockingbird who has taken possession and runs everyone else off. That is, except the blue jays, who ignore the mocker.

However, I did a lot better than I thought I would--14 species today, plus a couple of unidentifieds. I think I saw a hawk in silhouette at one point, but I can't identify from that. And I saw at least one other "something" fly by. My birding skills are low-to-middling, and heavy on the common feeder birds of this area. Today's list was:

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Blue Jay - 3
American Crow - 2
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin - 12
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Eastern Towhee - 2
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal - 2

Most of these were around the feeder but not on it--a few got to the feeder early before the mocker showed up. I discover that I have no sparrow-identification skills, and the two I put down are rather tentative (but those are the most common sparrows reported in the GBBC for my area). There may well have been a third species around, or maybe a juvenile, or who knows--there were several small stripey birds around and they all looked somewhat different. I just don't have an eye yet for the distinctive marks for each species, and I don't have a camera that will let me photograph them for detailed analysis. One of these days I'm going to replace my aged digital camera, and will get one that can handle a zoom lens for bird photographs.

For completeness, yesterday's list was short--I didn't start looking until mid-afternoon, so missed the active morning feeding.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Northern Mockingbird
Tags: birds, gbbc

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