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Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Great Backyard Bird Count 2010

It's hard to believe that I had never even heard of the Great Backyard Bird Count until I started blogging on HoustonGrows last year, even though I have been fascinated by birds for as long as I can remember.

Probably, lack of contact with like-minded individuals had a lot to do with it, which is why I've really enjoyed being part of the garden blogging community.

Anyway, this year I was able to participate for the first time.  I had some misgivings  that I might be misidentifying some birds, or not count accurately, or miss some, because I'm certainly not what you'd consider an expert.  But the Great Backyard Bird Count website seems to keep everything low key and has simple instructions for the first time participant. You even indicate your level of expertise and if you are reporting all, or only some of the birds you see as you submit your count.

Here are some photos of the birds that I took this morning.


I used to get American Goldfinches at my previous house, but this is the first time we've seen them here. We didn't get any at all last year. Now they've arrived en masse. They may eat me out of house and home!

 I found out today that a group of Chipping Sparrows is called a tournament of sparrows.  Perhaps this group are watching the jousting? 


In addition to the finches and sparrows, I also counted over 20 Mourning Doves, 4 Northern Cardinals, 2 Blue Jays, 2 American Crows and 1 Carolina Chickadee.



I really enjoyed my first Great Backyard Bird Count.  I may even do some more counting tomorrow when we go out to Hockley to see the horses.  We can stop by Kleb Woods on the way back!

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Robin's Nesting Place said...

I did the bird count last year for the first time. I will try to do it this year too, if I don't have to count the house sparrows and starlings. I don't think I can count that high!

I have a few chipping sparrows, they are the first birds to the feeders after I fill them!

Jayne said...

I count my lucky starts that we don't have house sparrows or starlings here Robin, and I hope it stays that way!

Kathleen Scott said...

How fabulous, Jayne. I loved seeing your birds and the way you've made the fence into a feeder.

Hope you'll add a link to this post to the Feb. 16th GBBC round-up at Hill Country Mysteries, . I'd like my friends to see your post too.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Jayne,
I've heard of the bird count, but didn't know when it was. I did hear about it in time this year to participate, but was too preoccupied. I haven't seen many birds this past week, though, because we had run out of seeds in the feeders, and I don't know how long it takes for the birds to come back. The squirrels have figured it out.

Congratulations on your great numbers! I'm glad you got to participate.

Kyna said...

I'm so jealous of your appeal to goldfinches! :D (jealous in a good way, not a 'slash your tires' sort of way lol) I wish they would eat me out of house and home :P

I liked the 'tournament' comment. I love finding out new trivia :D And then I giggled about the image in my head of jousting sparrows lol.

Jayne said...

Kathleen, making the fence into a feeder was my workaround for two problems. First, when we first moved in I was dismayed to find that, no matter where I put the feeders, they got soaked by the sprinklers. Second, we have *so many* birds, they just couldn't all fit on feeders, or the feeders would come crashing to the ground. So this was a way of accomodating everyone and getting around the sprinkler problem. I don't have to worry about when it rains, the seed doesn't stay past lunch time. When the birds are done, the squirrels move in and clean up.

Lancashire rose said...

Put out the food and they will come. I love those hanging bags. Do you buy them like that. I have never seen sparrows here. House finches, cardinals, wrens, chickadees, road runners, doves, hawks, owls, hummers and goldfinches, vultures, and occasionally those horrible grackles. Oh and vultures. I wouldn't have a clue how to count them, especially when the cedar waxwings come through. Your birds must be fun to watch...and count.

CE Webster said...

Love the feeders and the great pictures.