Lucky, Bacardi1! I don't see those at my feeders. I just scored a red fox under the feeder, but, of course, I can't count it. Rumors are that, for the weekly feeder watch, they're going to initiate a critter watch, too. It's, apparently, a couple of years out yet, but, I can't wait!
I've never seen them at my feeders either. It was purely luck that I was coming back from filling the water troughs & walked past our stand of Hemlocks. They were right in plain sight, tearing away at every little cone within reach. So cute!
You know, Bacardi1, I've often wondered why they don't? Even FeederWatch ends somewhere around April. I keep my feeders going all year and, like you, I have a lot of different birds I could report on. I wish they did.
There are bird counts during the summer - but I don't think they're organized by Audubon.
I participate in QMAP, and work with VDGIF on quail and woodcock habitat restoration. I will conduct surveys in June.
Believe it or not I whistle for bobwhite, and they whistle back.
I'm not sure if such programs exist up your way, Louise. If these species are not found in your area, there may be similar programs for other species under threat. You might want to check out your game dept or similar gov't site to see.
When we first moved here back in 1997, we had dozens & dozens of Bobwhite Quail. They were a daily occurrence. Then they simply disappeared. Haven't seen or even heard one in quite a few years now. But as for Woodcock - they're still calling our place home. We frequently hear & see them (such funny-looking little birds!). In fact, according to my "seasonal firsts" list, this coming week is the time when we usually first start hearing them buzz-beeping out in the fields.
Woodcock and Bobwhite share the same habitat, so if you do have Woodcock you're doing something right on your land.
You may want to look into QMAP - VDGIF is actively soliciting landowners to participate. They'll send you some materials, come out for a site visit if you ask, you'll get notices of free or low cost seed to establish food plots.
When I was a kid, Bobwhite were everywhere. When we went trail riding we'd flush coveys of them - great bombproofing training for horses!
Now, at least in this part of VA - the fields are pretty silent. I was very interested in conducting a release but evidently those are not very successful. But I do whistle for them and they do whistle back - they are here. Just no where near the numbers they should be. It's a terrible shame.
The best thing you can do for wildlife is get rid of fescue. It's a never ending battle on my land; I have tried to seed native grasses that are also good for livestock. That seed is very expensive, though.
Check out QMAP and see if it's something that could work for you. You never know - you might have tremendous success.
"He took my heart and ran with it, and I hope he's running still, fast and strong, a piece of my heart bound up with his forever"
I get more variety in winter because some species have moved south (unless you count grossbeaks.)
As usual, a bunch of birds aren't showing because I'm counting. But even though I wasnt' birdwatching I'm counting the Great Horned who was calling last night. They're staking out territories again, but I'm only counting one was I can't be sure I heard two or if one just moved.
Yes - I heard a Barred Owl calling last week. And the Mourning Doves, Robins, & Crows are starting to pair up. Spring ain't far behind. But you wouldn't know it from the temps here today. It's terribly windy, hasn't gotten out of the 20's (27 at the moment), & the wind chill is supposed to be around 14. Brrrrr.
I'm getting lucky. Today is one of my Feeder Watch days and, for a change, it's bitterly cold (hasn't made it out of the teens today) and we're getting lake effect snow. That means that the birds are flocking to the feeders. I'll use my feeder watch count on the Great Bird count site also. So far, nothing unusual, just large numbers of everything I usually get.
The only newcomers I had today (so far) were two male Red-winged Blackbirds. Another counter in my area, who's closer to water & the marshy areas that they love, had 175 of them on his list (obviously a returning flock), so they must be back for the season.
Oddly enough, while we sometimes have Starlings working the lawn, that's pretty much it. They never come to the feeders or bother with the bird boxes. We used to have a few that would commandeer an old Martin house on the property, but when a tornado took the top off of that 2 years ago, they seem to have left for good. Frankly, I kind of miss them a little.