Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Great Backyard Bird Count

This weekend was the Great Backyard Bird Count so on Saturday morning at 7:40 I sat in Beth's chair looking out the window with pen & paper in hand and counted birds. Lots of birds. There seems to be a feeding frenzy as some birds get ready to head north and others start to think about spring and starting a family. The colors are getting brighter and richer.

Saturday was the last I saw of our beautiful Yellow-throated Warbler.

We had both male and female Cardinals. This is, of course, the male.

Lots of Bluebirds showed up to be counted... did our Florida Fox Squirrel. Fox Squirrel sightings are reported on a different website:

A couple of Tufted Titmice.

And a Carolina Chickadee.

We had quite a few Blue Jays.

And lots of Pine Warblers.

But the American Goldfinches won the count.

Northern Mockingbirds are by no means rare, except at my feeders.

He looks radiant in this shot, don't you think?

This has been an unusual year for Yellow-rumped Warblers. We have seen many, many more than in any previous year. At any given time, there could be a dozen or more at the feeders - all of the "Myrtle" variety. In previous years, we might see one or two a week.

This one thinks he's a hummingbird.

The Yellow-rumped Warblers have turned out to be little bullies - guarding THEIR feeders and chasing away the smaller birds.

I didn't see any Cedar Waxwings on Saturday, but we saw a large flock the previous week - in the rain.

Even in the rain, the Yellow-rumped kept guard.

They ARE pretty!

But not as pretty as the Yellow-throated Warbler.

In the sun, the Pine Warblers look like Canaries.

A Red-bellied Woodpecker was actually the first bird I saw during the count.

And a Blue Jay was the second.

Even a Crow stopped by!!

Ms. Cardinal didn't want to be left out.

And the Titmouse came back several times.

Another Yellow-rumped - I promise he's the last for the day.

At the end of 20 minutes of counting, a Red-tailed Hawk landed in a tree and all of the birds suddenly disappeared. Shortly afterwards, a male Red-tailed joined her and they mated. Maybe we'll have juvenile hawks before we head back to our summer place in Colorado Springs!

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