From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Great Backyard Bird Count

More About Birds and Animals...



Here's a good cause and something fun to participate in. The Great Backyard Bird Count is this weekend.

The idea of it is to make several counts of the different species of birds you see in your backyard. Then take the greatest number for each species you saw and report it. For example, if you saw 5 cardinals at 10 a.m. 3 cardinals at 10:30 a.m. and 6 cardinals at 11:00 a.m., you would report 6 cardinals, the greatest of the three counts.

The study is sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. You can read all about it at the Great Backyard Bird Count website. Much information is available there, including helpful photos and descriptions to help identify any species you may not be sure of.

Backyard birdsThe specific goals of the bird count are listed on the website, but put simply, it helps us know how the birds are doing. And I hope the count will reveal that the birds are doing well.

Dennis is looking forward to doing the counting at our house, and I will probably make some observations too. I am a little concerned that I haven't seen any mourning doves around the feeders this year.

When I took the photo at right, the wind chills were below zero. The birds were picking up fallen seed off the ground instead of congregating at the feeder as they usually do. Some were even huddling on the ground near the wall of the house.

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A year ago today, I blogged about "A Twisted Hackberry" that grows at the Catholic church in Hopkinsville. I also had some comments about some little tin men I had seen at the flea market.

6 comments:

limey said...

We have a very similar scheme that occurs a couple of times a year organised by the RSPB (royal society for the protection of birds). And sadly it shows a year on year decrease of some of our nicest and most colourful garden birds. There are many species of bird that I used to see in the garden when I was a child that my chilren have never seen and that I have not seen for many a year. The song thrush is a bird that nobody I know of has seen in a long while if at all.
A lot of my time in Hopkinsville was spent gazing out of the window at the many types of bird coming to the feeders, including humming birds. I would love to see a Pileated woodpecker again and find out what species the big owl was that I used to see. Ho Hum! Back to reality.

Genevieve said...

They do a Christmas bird count also, and there are other bird observations you can participate in.

We have a brown thrush here (also known as brown thrasher,) and I was really pleased that we've had one in the yard for the last two summers. I enjoy seeing them because they are a bird I learned to recognize when I was a child.

My girlfriend in Nebraska, Sammie, told me that they hardly see magpies there anymore. Magpies were very common (to the point of causing a lot of trouble) when I was growing up.

limey said...

Well you can have our magpies - they are one of my least favourite birds - nasty spiteful creatures. We have several where I live and they tend to drive off the smaller birds. I did however once see a falcon sitting on our garage roof tucking into a pigeon it had just caught, shame the magpies were all hiding!

Tudorw said...

I like the picture! Good use of the rule of thirds. What are the red birds ?

Genevieve said...

Those are cardinals. They are the first at the feeders in the morning and the last to leave at night.

Genevieve said...

Limey, I agree that they are not very nice birds. When we branded the cattle on the ranch when I was a kid, the magpies tried to peck at the scars on the calves.

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