Friday, February 25, 2011

The Great Backyard Bird Count Part II

WELL....this year was certainly a let down here in New Jersey. We had some of the windiest weather ever, and I swear it blew all the birds out of the state....or so it seemed. Opening day of the count, I sat down at my computer with my cup of tea ready to check the morning news and log everyone hanging out at the feeders. To my dismay, there wasn't a bird to be found! OK, we're talking me here, I wasn't dismayed, I was pissed off. For the past week the birds and squirrels have been annihilating the feeders like it was the "Last Supper".  The "count" starts and everyone heads for the hills, the beach, another state...who the hell knows....they just weren't here in my yard like they were suppose to be. To add to the frustration I have had so much schoolwork to do that I really couldn't take the time to scout out my "spots" like I wanted to.

So, want to know the bird that scored the highest sightings? The European Starling at 1,332,172.  Not far behind was the American Robin with 1,013,406. At the very bottom of the list there were 22 birds with only 1 sighting a piece, a small sampling: Gray Kingbird, Hepatic Tanager and Brown Shrike.  I admit, I never even heard of these before.... If you would like to check out the overall totals, or maybe just check out your home state, or even hometown: GBBC Totals

Now, for me here in western New Jersey, just a half hour above Trenton, I counted a total of 812 birds, with a total of 19 different species. I had 2 new birds that I have never spotted before: A Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted) at the feeders & a large flock of Snowgeese that flew over my yard.

Northern Flicker

Snow Geese

Overall, I enjoy doing the bird hunt, and I'm glad that they email reminders when it's coming up or I never would of remembered this year. The birds hiding out was a bit of a disappointment, but then again, guess I should do a lot better next year! But let's face, I love the outdoors and wildlife, so any time spent with either is always a plus in my book.

Hope you consider joining "The Count" next year! It's easy to sign up and get involved as much as you want:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Great Backyard Bird Hunt Starts Tomorrow!!!!

Get Ready! Time to count the birds!
If you have never heard of this before, or have and never really thought much about it, here's a chance to change your mind.  Check out The Great Backyard Bird Hunt for great tips and help for identifying birds in your area. I tried it two years ago, with my teenage son in tow and we counted almost 2,000 birds! Of course at first he wasn't really interested, but when he realized just how many different species we were seeing in places we drive by all the time, he was amazed and well, I had to go home and get another pair of binoculars.

NO, we did not see 2,000 different kinds of birds. Waterfowl are included....duh...they have feathers, wings and walk around on two feet too, they just like to hang in the water instead of trees. So when you realize it's migration time (an awesome clue that spring IS coming YAAAYYYYY!!) there are ALOT of Canadian geese stopping for a breather on their trip home. For whatever reason I deleted my list but here are some species that I can remember: The "Regulars"  Titmouse, Nuthatch, Juncos, Cardinals,  Chickadees, Bluejays, Doves, Sparrows (didn't realize how many different ones there were), Red Bellied, Downy, Hairy & Pileated Woodpeckers.

Then, like on que for the count, a huge flock of Starlings, Blackbirds & Cowbirds hung around my yard for about a week. I learned then that they often migrate together in large flocks. Also around the neighborhood: Red Tailed Hawks, Crows, Ravens, Eastern Bluebirds, Mockingbirds, House Wrens, Ring Billed Gulls & Great Blue Herons.

Since I happen to live close to the Delaware River, other rivers & creeks and two reservoirs and I also used to carve ducks, I know where alot of "waterfowl" hotspots are. The waterfowl list: Canadian Geese, Mallards, Black Ducks, Common Mergansers, Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, Widgeons, Pintails, Woodducks, Common Loon, Canvasbacks, Blue Winged Teal. That's all I can actually remember. Two other nice surprise finds: a Woodcock, thanks to my dutiful puggle, Manny, and a Kingfisher.

All in all I had a good time. Not that I really need an excuse to hang out on the shore of a river for sunset, sunsets are one of most fav things to enjoy. My son also didn't mind tagging along cause it gave him a ride to go fishing. This year I have a goal to spot myself some Bald Eagles. I have several spots to keep an eye on and DAMNIT I'm not coming home till I find one this time! Yeah, that's me having a jealous hissy fit that everyone seems to have seen the "local celebs" but me.....

For more info on what the count is all about, as well as helful tips, check out the video by GBBC:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Fatal Sin to All Gardeners


My Neighborhood Locals

I swear I couldn't help it! My little bunch of yocal locals are having such a hard time with all this snow & ice. Woke up one morning and there were little itty bitty deer prints on my sidewalk to the house. That's something they have NEVER done before. They don't usually come anywhere near the house during any patrolable hours by our lethal Border Patrol specialist "Manny". Yeah well, I think Manny will be getting demoted, cause the deer no longer show any respect for my little guardian and do whatever they want now in their desperate quest for some munchies.
So, I confess, the hubby and I both can't help but take pity on the poor critters at this time and went out and got some corn for them. Hubby even "snowblowed" a path down to the back of the property, then made some clearings for them under the cedar trees, where he then spreads out a little buffet for them. So while a part of me feels better that I am helping my neighborly co -habitors through this challenging time, the other half is seething in self loathing that I have willingly let the enemies into my camp. What if they think that this is an invitation to come into my gardens and snack whenever and whatever they like???? DAMNIT! I just know I'm in big trouble come spring.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...