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Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Great Backyard Bird Count - 2012

After being woken up by an impressive thunderstorm in which we got a reported 1.7 inches of rain, I wondered if perhaps I might have to take a rain check for the Great Backyard Bird Count.

However, it had more or less stopped raining by 7 am and when I stepped outside to put birdseed along the (soggy) fence, there were already a throng of birds out there, pecking around on the ground.

I ate breakfast and had some coffee and by 8 I was ready to start my official count.

Although it was cold and grey out there, it wasn't actually raining and conditions were pretty good for the count.  The birds certainly seemed willing to cooperate, anyway:-)  I counted from the comfort of the dining room.


Most populous were the Chipping Sparrows, but the photo above  was the only photo I managed to snap of them.

Here are my totals as submitted for 2012:

23 Chipping Sparrows
15 House Sparrows
6 Mourning Doves
3 White-Winged Doves
1 Carolina Chickadee(I think I saw two really, but you have to count the total number you see at one time, not a cumulative total)
4 Blue Jays
6 Northern Cardinals
1 Northern Mockingbird
1 Red-Bellied Woodpecker
2 Downy Woodpeckers
4 (Too many) Brown-headed cowbirds - later, after I had submitted my tally, I counted even more of them.


We have at least three pairs of Northern Cardinals that nest nearby, in spite of the loss of habitat either side.  None of them have chosen to occupy the Cardinal nesting shelf we put up yet, but perhaps they will this spring.


 The White-Winged Doves and Mourning Doves were quite content to share the seeds along the back wall.

 And they shared with Mrs. Cardinal and Mr. Brown-Headed (you're not welcome in my garden) Cowbird.




And they also shared with -- hmmmm, can't quite place the species of the rather strange and hairy bird in the middle of the photo....


We're supposed to have lovely weather tomorrow, so I'm going to count again tomorrow.  You can join in too -- Great Backyard Bird Count



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

11 comments:

Steph@RamblingWren said...

Ha - "the strange and hairy bird". I see this bird a lot at my feeder:)
I'm not a fan of cowbirds.

Jayne said...

Hi Steph, I'm not fond of cowbirds either, as you may have guessed, lol. I do rather like the intriguing sound they make though. It's just the thought of poor cardinals and other birds raising cowbird eggs that have been laid in their nests, that makes me not like the cowbirds. Sort of like cuckoos in England.

Birdwoman said...

Nice pictures. And a nice count of birds on a difficult day for counting. Let's hope tomorrow's weather is more accommodating.

Lancashire rose said...

You certainly had your share of feathered visitors. Beautiful. I have never understood the bird count. How do you know that it isn't the same bird coming back? I don't have feeders so not so many around here. I can hear them and they come visit on occasion if the mocking bird doesn't shoo them away. I did see a chipping sparrow in the fall. Just one. He was around for a few days and then left. this morning a dozen turkeys walked by. The male was all fanned out doing a bit of courting.

Jayne said...

It's gorgeous out there this morning Dorothy, but my numbers are much the same.

Jayne said...

Hi Jenni. A lot of it is "guestimating" I think - especially if you are counting birds in a huge flock flying overhead. They say to count the number of birds in a small section of the flock and then multiply it to come up with a rough total. So if you count 10 birds and you consider you counted perhaps one eighth of the total flock, then you would count the flock as eighty birds. I don't have "feeders" per se - I just sprinkle the seed along the fence as you can see in my photos. Our first year here, the raccoons destroyed a number of feeders, so I gave up with them. How fun to see turkeys. That's something we don't see around here.

Lynn said...

The photo of the different birds with the squirrel is such a nice example of the diversity of nature. Love the red cardinal. I rarely see them here in my garden as there are not many tall trees and shrubs in the neighborhood which is only about 5-6 years old.

Jayne said...

Hi Lynn, thanks for your comment. We are blessed here, in that the area our subdivision is being built on is surrounded by fields and trees. We used to have thickets on either side of us too, until the lots were cleared and houses built last year. Thank goodness we still get the diversity of birds.

Ami said...

Hi, Jayne, I am so impressed that you have so many birds in your yard, and the pictures, the counting! I have finally got a bird bath setup in my garden, but I don't have a proper place to hang the bird feeder, need to continue looking. I would like to hear bird chirping more in my garden :) Enjoyed yours, thanks!

Jayne said...

Hi Ami - check at Lowe's or Home Depot etc for a shepherd's crook to hang your feeder from. I've also seen platform feeders with stands available at online stores.

The Sage Butterfly said...

Rain was predicted for the day I was to count as well, but I made it just in time. After I finished counting, the rain began to pour. I am glad you got a chance to count. You have lots of birds that stop by your garden.