Monday, February 15, 2010

Backyard Birding

The past four days have been the nation-wide Great Backyard Bird Count. Birders from across the nation (and Canada) count birds that they see in their backyards from Friday morning to Monday evening. As I write this, over 50,000 checklists have been entered totaling 553 species and over 6,000,000 birds!

House Finch
One of the several House Finches that I counted this year

I have had great birding experiences during the Great Backyard Bird Count here in Kunkletown. Here are some highlights from past years:

- 30 Pine Siskins at my feeders
2008-a Cackling Goose with a group of Canada Geese in the field across from my house
2007-Rough-legged and Red-shouldered Hawks and two owl species
2006-Red-shouldered Hawk and Northern Harrier

My highest species count in past years occurred in 2006, with 33 species. My highest bird count was in 2007 with 417 individual birds. These numbers are a total of all four days, so the count of individual birds may contain some of the same individuals.

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinals were constantly at the feeders this weekend

This year, due to the snow, a large portion of my backyard birding was done on cross-country skis, which was a fun experience.

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrows occasionally popped out of
the shrubs to grab a bite at the feeder

This year, I birded on all four bird count days. I ended with 29 species and 342 individual birds.

Canada Goose 21
Turkey Vulture 2
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Mourning Dove 11
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 8
Northern Flicker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 2
Blue Jay 14
American Crow 32
Black-capped Chickadee 18
Tufted Titmouse 9
White-breasted Nuthatch 7
Brown Creeper 2
Carolina Wren 1
Northern Mockingbird 3
European Starling 37
American Pipit 1
Cedar Waxwing 4
American Tree Sparrow 6
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 6
White-throated Sparrow 18
Dark-eyed Junco 47
Northern Cardinal 16
Red-winged Blackbird 1
House Finch 36
American Goldfinch 17
House Sparrow 19

House Finch

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