Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Great Backyard Bird Count

It so happened that this year's Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) landed on a beautiful weekend here in CT.  At one point, temperatures reached over 60F--Bud was in shorts and we had all the windows open.  Lovely.  And so we went out at least once each day to participate in the GBBC.  I had written up a list of birds we were most likely to see and the kids were in charge of the tally marks.

Now I should say that I'm not very good at identifying birds smaller than hawks or owls; in fact, we call them all "tweetie birds."  And I definitely can't identify most birdsongs, except the mourning dove and the nasty blue jay.  And a woodpecker.   We heard more birds than we saw but couldn't count them.  So it was definitely a challenge, particularly because most were in flight.   I don't even know all the small backyard birds in still photos, much less in motion or at a distance!

Still, we managed to count dozens of house sparrows, 27 Canada geese, a turkey vulture, two woodpeckers, two blue jays, two chickadees, a few mourning dove, and several European starlings.  There were two birds we definitely saw but couldn't identify and many more we heard.  Not an impressive list--not even the local Monk Parakeets or a nice Red-tail Hawk--but it was a good first try.

And I think I can recognize the song of the house sparrow now.


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