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Birds in the Winter: Our Winter Wednesday Bird Style

We recently participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count and even though this is our third year participating, we still found it a thrilling activity. The whole family participated at some point over the weekend and although it was a very snowy weekend, we saw some amazing birds. This was a great way to learn about our winter birds and we took the opportunity to combine the Bird Count with Winter Wednesday.

The point that sticks out to me this year is that we had no trouble identifying any of the birds that we observed. We have built up over the last three years the ability to quickly name any bird that happens into our yard or to our feeders. I think that is amazing!

Here is our list of birds that we saw over the weekend:
White-breasted nuthatch
Spotted towhee
California towhee
Cedar waxwing
Western Scrub-jay
Oak titmouse
House sparrows
House finches
Black-eyed juncos
American robins
American crows
Anna’s hummingbird
White-crowned sparrows
Canadian geese

We decided to learn more about the White-breasted nuthatch since it was one of the birds mentioned in the Discover Nature in Winter chapter notes. We have a pair of these that frequent our feeders on a daily basis. They are such perky little birds and have such an interesting sound. They are very acrobatic and entertain us when they climb down the tree trunks head first.

We started off with a coloring page from the Cornell University website found at this link:
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and National Audubon Society
Previously, I had printed out the table of contents and it hangs on the wall near our bird viewing window. When we observe a new bird, we check the list and see if there is a coloring page for that particular bird. Then I print just that page out for those that want one for their nature journal.

We also looked the white-breasted nuthatch up in our field guide and on the All About Birds website.

I was interested in learning more about the Cedar waxwing birds that we saw in our trees during the Bird Count. We counted 61 of them at one time! This was the most we had ever seen all in one flock. They were eating the berries/nuts out of the pistache tree.

I used a coloring sheet from the Cornell book as well and then I looked information up in our field guide and at All About Birds. I learned the meaning of the word “frugivore“.

We also learned what is meant by the term “field marks“.

We also found these feathers in our backyard this week and we haven’t been able to figure out who they belong to yet.

There is always something new to research and learn right from our own backyard. 🙂

11 thoughts on “Birds in the Winter: Our Winter Wednesday Bird Style

  1. What a great link to the bird coloring pages!
    The feathers may be blue jay?

  2. Hi Barb,
    Looks like they belong to a rock dove (pigeon).

  3. What a lovely post ! we really enjoyed our GBBC adventures this year too.

    Thanks for sharing it in the CM Blog Carnival.

    Grace & Peace,

  4. I loved this post. We did the GBBC, too, but it seems that all our birds are a little shy about being counted because we saw just a fraction of the number we see on average. And as soon as the count was over, they all appeared again! Next year, I’m not telling them about it. ♥

  5. Without knowing the actual length of the feathers and just going by the looks, they remind me of Mockingbird feathers. Thank you for the links and all the great information!

  6. Oops, forgot to mention I have linked my Winter Wednesday on Birds to your site. Kathleen

  7. I also think they’re a Jay’s.

    We did the Backyard Bird Count too and loved it. I don’t seem to get a chance to blog about it, I spend so much time in my basement now 😉

    They’re so important to us now, the birds at our feeders. We’re drawing up plans for the gardens and are working around the feeders so we don’t need to move them.

  8. Your website has inspired me to start bird watching. I have always been interested in wildlife, and I think that birds is a safe place to start!

    Great Blog!

    Cute Backgrounds

  9. Hi Barb I think it is wonderful that you KNEW ALL THE BIRDS- I would love for us to become that familiar!!! I would love to participate in the Bird Count next time it happens. I think it is a great idea!! Thanks for a great carnival “O)

  10. Awesome GBBC!! We were out of town during this years count and we were not in a place where we saw many birds at all. =( Thanks for sharing your with us. I also love that coloring book!! -Be Blessed Angie in GA

  11. We participate as well so fun as the Cornell Lab of O is in our backyard.

    We hardly saw the usual number of birds at our house that weekend too.

    Do you think the birds are on to us?

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