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:





5 comments:

Melissa said...

So were you out counting birds again this week? You might want to consider signing up for some of the birding expeditions they have at Duke Farms in the spring.

I saw that the eagle cam is back in operation for 2011. The link is; http://www.dukefarms.org/Education/Eagle-Cam/

lifeshighway said...

Jester, I have been dying to put comments up on your site. Did you just add this or am I stupid. Ok, it could be both.

I love birdwatching.

Jester said...

in bewteen changing & tweaking things I must off turned it off by accident....was wondering why things were so quiet...so you're not the stupid one....

Janet said...

For the multitude of birds I have in my woods, when it came time for the count, they all disappeared! Crazy.

wpw said...

Find any tasty birds yet?

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