The Great Backyard Bird Count, 2019
The Great Backyard Bird Count was held February 15-18th, and as usual Judy and I were happy to participate. All you have to do is choose a spot and spend a few minutes or a couple of hours counting birds.
This citizen science project provides a snapshot of avian populations, with over 193,000 bird checklists submitted from around the world. The effort is sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada.
Judy and I like to do our bird counting from the comfort of our back porch. Our count was reflective of what we’ve been seeing over the winter: for starters, lots of Northern Cardinals and Goldfinches.
Northern Cardinals are one of my favorite birds, and fortunately they stick around through the whole year.
Goldfinches have also been plentiful. I’ve counted up to 20 at a time. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, a flock of Goldfinches is called a “charm”, which seems very apt. Seems like it won’t be long before they put on their bright summer plumage.
There have also been quite a few Juncos and an occasional House Finch.
Woodpeckers have also been a fairly constant presence. The most dramatic has been the Red-Bellied Woodpecker, who show up at the feeders to eat suet and peanuts.
Sadly, we haven’t seen any Northern Flickers in a long time.
As usual, the little Downies are the most common of the Woodpeckers. They are a fairly constant presence.
We also get occasional Bluejay appearances. They are close relatives of crows, but their coloring makes them appear much friendlier.
This year I think there are far fewer Mourning Doves than there used to be.
In late winter the Starlings start showing up at the feeders. I’ve been told that up until now they are hoovering every kind of fruit that they can find. When the fruit is gone, they start hitting the bird seed and peanuts.
I think of Starlings as the Hell’s Angels of the backyard bird world because they travel in gangs and look like they are wearing black leather jackets.
So that was our bird count for 2019. Have you noticed any changes in how many/what kind of birds you’ve been seeing in the garden this winter?