Great Egret

Great Egret

Friday, 17 February 2017

Counting your yard!

This weekend, February 17-20, 2017 is the Great Backyard Bird Count weekend. If you feed birds, it is an opportunity to share your findings in another one of the citizen science projects that are being promoted by the likes of Audubon, Cornell University and Bird Studies Canada. The results will give an overall view of the status of winter birds in different parts of the country, and contribute to the overall status of wintering birds over time.

Feeders are great places to enjoy in the winter, especially if there is enough snow to attract the birds. With that condition, however, when the snow is gone and spring-like temperatures are here, the birds are more spread out and not as likely to visit feeders as much. But there are always some.

Full information on how to get involved with this GBBC may be found at this link.

Aside from the pleasure of watching birds and their behaviour interacting with each other, it is a perfect opportunity to get some appealing photos. The photos that follow were all taken at, or in the immediate vicinity of, a feeder, but not my own. (Full disclosure: we fed birds every year for more than 30 years, but since we now live in the winter crow capital of Canada, I got tired of feeding primarily crows and squirrels, so I go elsewhere to enjoy and support bird feeder action :-(.

Some of the more common species to be found are:
American Goldfinch
American Tree Sparrow
Black-capped Chickadee
Dark-eyed Junco
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Cardinal
Red-bellied Woodpecker
White-breasted Nuthatch
Pine Siskin
Some species, like Pine Siskin, are very erratic in their arrival to southern Ontario, and this winter they have been noticeable by their absence for the most part.

If you are a little more fortunate, you may find:
American Robin
Tufted Titmouse
Eastern Towhee
Pine Warbler

And if you are really fortunate, maybe one of these will enjoy your feeder!
White-winged Dove
Happy Winter Bird Counting!

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