Monday, February 22, 2016

Great Backyard Bird Count wrapup

This year's four-day Great Backyard Bird Count wrapped up on President's Day, February 15, but if you haven't reported your count yet, you can still do it until March 1. 

I mentioned here in an earlier post about a bird walk at Brazos Bend State Park that I took on Saturday of the count. I counted 18 species of birds during that jaunt. But I also spent time on the other days observing the birds in my own yard.

My designated observation area includes my one-half acre yard plus my next door neighbors' backyard. Their backyard has several large pine trees that attract many woodland birds, such as woodpeckers, so I like to include it in my observations in order to increase my number of species.

I ended my weekend count with a total of thirty-two species. This includes birds that were present in my designated area or were flying over the area.


There was no lack of Northern Cardinals in my count. They are regular visitors to my feeders.

The female cardinal, with her softer colors, is just as pretty as her gaudier mate.



Many of my American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins have already left. Our very mild winter has no doubt convinced them that it is time to head north and start nesting. There were still a few hanging around for the GBBC.

There haven't been as many Cedar Waxwings as usual in my neighborhood this winter. Instead of flocks numbering in the hundreds, smaller groups of 30 to 50 have been more common.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers dropped in on a regular basis during my count.

Some of our winter warblers, too, have already headed north, but there are still plenty of Pine Warblers around.
Here is the complete list of species that allowed me to include them in my count:

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (flying over)
Black Vulture (flying over)
Turkey Vulture (flying over)
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk (flying over)
White-winged Dove
Rufous Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow (flying over)
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird 
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Cedar Waxwing
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal 
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow 

It wasn't the biggest total I've ever had in all the years I have participated in the GBBC, but, considering the amount of time I was able to devote to it this year, I was pretty happy with my results. It's good to know that a variety of birds make themselves at home in my yard.

13 comments:

  1. Wow you had a great count Dorothy. My count was 16 species. Sadly we haven't seen Chipping Sparrows here since the houses were built either side. but I did see Cedar Waxwings, which were new to me.

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    1. I was pleased with my count. Still, there were a number of species that I know to be in the area that didn't show up while I was observing. We always regret the ones who might have been.

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  2. Great count, Dorothy, and beautiful pics too. I saw a male cardinal in my backyard the other day and decided to photograph it, but I got close and I spooked him (he flew).

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  3. I noticed there's a new picture of Beau in your side bar. Much better looking than in the previous one.

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    1. Photographing birds is always an iffy thing. Usually, just as I get my camera set, the subject flies away. I'll pass along your compliments to Beau.

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    2. By the way, the fatty little birds I'm always telling you about in my backyard, look like that warbler in the picture, but grayish-brown. Would they still be warblers? Do they sing? Because the ones in my yard do.

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    3. Do they have thin, pointy beaks? If yes, they could well be warblers. If they have more conical-shaped beaks like the cardinals or goldfinches, they are likely members of the finch family. You can tell what family birds are from by the shapes of their beak.

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  4. Good work Dorothy! I am impressed. We don't have cardinals in So Cal. I loved them as a kid in NJ. Especially their bright redness against white snow.

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    1. I think cardinals are everyone's favorite backyard bird.

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  5. Very enjoyable, thank you
    You'd love Lake Merced

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    1. I've never been to Lake Merced, but I'm sure I would love it.

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  6. I so wish we had cardinals here. I have never even seen one! A good count - it's encouraging to see such diversity.

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    1. I live in a very "birdy" place so we do have a substantial variety of birds throughout the year. It is certainly one of the attractions for me of living here.

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