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The Great Back Yard Bird Count

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  • The Great Back Yard Bird Count

    Just a heads up for those of you who may be interested. The "Great Back Yard Bird Count" will take place this weekend, from February 15th thru February 18th. It's easy, no special knowledge required. You just count as much, or as little, as you want. You can count one day, or all four and from one location or from several, if you would like.

    This year, for the first time, it will be international, with counts accepted from anywhere in the world. It's fun, it's easy, and you'll be helping scientists keep track of the bird population all over the world.

    You have to create an account when you enter your first count, then you're good to go. It makes me wish I had Grandchildren. It would be so much fun to do it with your kids or grandkids. Here's the site http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc
    If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
    Desmond Tutu

  • #2
    Have to say I'm a little envious of the bird population scientists, who get the luxury of letting other people do their field work for free.

    Good luck out there!

    Comment


    • #3
      Looks like fun - thanks for the link!

      Comment


      • #4
        I have so much bird life on my farm, turkeys, blue birds, sandhill cranes, red shouldered hawks, blue herons, allkinds of egrets and ibises and wood storks and spoonbills......it would take me all day.
        Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
        Bernard M. Baruch

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        • #5
          Is it bad I'm kind of hoping we get slammed with snow again? My feeders were packed last week and they're dead this week.
          Author Page
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          Steampunk Sweethearts

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Snork, dancer, I wish the same thing, sometimes. I also do the FeederWatch, which is an every week thing. You pick two days and count those same two days every week. It never seems to fail that, on the days of my count, the weather is relatively good and the birds aren't flocking to the feeders. Other times during the week, when it's snowing or even windy, the birds descend en-mass.
            If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
            Desmond Tutu

            Comment


            • #7
              I'll be participating - should be great fun.

              Oh - if anyone is interested in watching bird (waterfowl) migrations in real time, Ducks Unlimited has a fantastic map. Anyone can enter sightings and information, you don't need to be a hunter. Wildlife biologists work closely with DU and the information is very valuable.

              http://www.ducks.org/migrationmap/
              Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
              Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
              -Rudyard Kipling

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                I'll be participating - should be great fun.

                Oh - if anyone is interested in watching bird (waterfowl) migrations in real time, Ducks Unlimited has a fantastic map. Anyone can enter sightings and information, you don't need to be a hunter. Wildlife biologists work closely with DU and the information is very valuable.

                http://www.ducks.org/migrationmap/
                That's a fabulous site, JSwan. I have bookmarked it and will be adding to it as, on the South shore of Lake Ontario, I have the opportunity to see quite a lot of the migrations.
                If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                Desmond Tutu

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Louise View Post
                  Snork, dancer, I wish the same thing, sometimes. I also do the FeederWatch, which is an every week thing. You pick two days and count those same two days every week. It never seems to fail that, on the days of my count, the weather is relatively good and the birds aren't flocking to the feeders. Other times during the week, when it's snowing or even windy, the birds descend en-mass.
                  My mother has a rose-breasted nuthatch who KNOWS what days she counts and doesn't show up. I generally only report unusual birds to eBird (like the male Eastern bluebird still hanging around, or the American Robin in Mishawaka two weeks ago) but if I try to count, no one shows.
                  Author Page
                  Like Omens In the Night on Facebook
                  Steampunk Sweethearts

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                  • #10
                    Too bad this wasn't happening last weekend when I was amazed to see ( and hear loudly) hundreds of Sand Hill Cranes migrating north right over my property. There were many flocks converging together very high but the sound carried really well. I love bird watching, and have cataloged over ninty different species which have visited my farm.
                    "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you..."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I love the sandhill cranes, they sound positively prehistoric in their calls. Very chilling and eerie sounding. They are a joy to watch though.
                      Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                      Bernard M. Baruch

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        This map shows where bird counts have been entered around the world, and little flashing "x marks the spot type" dots appear when a new count is entered. http://ebird.org/ebird/gbbc/livesubs
                        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                        Desmond Tutu

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just submitted my first list from this morning at my feeders. Fourteen different species in just 30 minutes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I got some decent birding done yesterday - until the hawks showed up! This is interesting - when I entered the number of Eastern Wild Turkey I'd seen, the program prompted me to re-examine the entry, as that number is unusually high for my area.

                            Wild Turkey numbers have been increasing - I've seen that with my own eyes. So hopefully if others are reporting similar increases that might be of interest to Cornell and Audubon.

                            I was hoping to see some Bufflehead in my pond - they had been visiting over the winter. But I only saw matched pairs of Mallards yesterday.
                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              We've had a couple of bad Springs for Turkey poult hatch and the numbers are going down around here. I have my fingers crossed for a dry Spring this year, so we get some little ones to bring the numbers back up. The flock that visits my feeders has gone from eleven last year to seven this year.

                              I went down to the bay yesterday to count. Got the usual suspects, 18 mute swans, literally hundreds of Canada geese and Ring-billed gulls, some Mallards and even a pair of Rock Pigeons on the shore. I did get a thrill there, however, because, mixed in the the Ring-bills were about 30 Great Black-backed Gulls. That was a new bird for me! They usually stay closer to the ocean but I'm wondering if the bad weather on the coast has driven them inland. Lake Ontario(which was right across the bay from where I was counting) would be a likely haven for them.
                              If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                              Desmond Tutu

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                              • #16
                                While going to pick up hay this morning I spotted 2 nice birds in passing - an American Kestrel (aka Sparrow Hawk) & a Great Blue Heron. Was hoping to spot some interesting waterfowl while passing local waterways (even had my binoculars with me), but alas only lots of Canada Geese.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Louise - I've only ever seen a Black Backed Gull on the beach. That's pretty cool that you saw one that far inland.

                                  We'll have years where turkey numbers decline; but in the past few they've really gone gangbusters, even with a huge increase in coyote numbers (then again we've had huge declines in fox numbers and I think they tend to prey on poults more so than coyote, so maybe that's why).

                                  Usually I see Bald Eagles this time of year but so far only one or two sightings - and none so far this weekend.

                                  I think I saw a bluebird this morning but I only caught a glimpse so I didn't count it.
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I can't count all mine and I have a very small yard. I've tried to make it bird friendly and I guess it worked! This morning I had TWO pairs of Eastern Bluebirds. So happy to see them.
                                    You are what you dare.

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      I was pretty surprised about those Black-backed Gulls. I think I've got my identification right, I hemmed and hawed over every identification picture I could find. But, here's a picture, since I'd welcome some confirmation from people who have seen them before. It's not that clear, since they were pretty far out, but it does show a nice contrast in size with the Ring-billed Gull in front. http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL721/13437073/23982422/405682515.jpg





                                      If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                                      Desmond Tutu

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Rats, it won't let me edit another picture in. Here's another shot, showing the pink mark on the bottom bill better. Plus, of course, the bottom end of a mute swan. http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL72.../405682580.jpg
                                        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                                        Desmond Tutu

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