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GBBC and Birdzilla and Our Enthusiasm

Birds flying
Our “squirrel-proof” birdfeeder is very popular with the finches and sparrows.

The excitement for the Great Backyard Bird Count mounted last week all over the blogging world, especially among homeschoolers. I could feel it here at the Handbook of Nature Study as so many families prepared to participate. Birdzilla was the talk of the bird blogs….check it out for your state.

Little bird big seed
Black oil sunflower seeds are the seed of choice at our feeders. You can read some more tips HERE.

Our family has been a long time fan of the GBBC but the enthusiasm I felt became a little contagious as the boys helped me count birds most of Friday afternoon from our windows, watching our feeders and trees. Much to our surprise, the day before it had snowed so Friday was cold and there were patches of snow on the ground. The birds didn’t seem to mind.

Friday’s Count:
American robins – 5
Mourning doves – 2
Acorn woodpeckers – 2 (tapping on the side of our house!)
Nuttall’s woodpecker – 1
Norther flicker – 1 (he has become a regular visitor to our back grass)
Oak titmouse – 1
White-breasted nuthatch – 1
Spotted towhee – 5
California towhee – 2
White-crowned sparrow – 14
Dark-eyed junco – 15
House finch – 5
House sparrow – 5
Cedar waxwing – 57

Cedar Waxwings 2 18 11
Cedar Waxwings

Yes, we saw fifty-seven cedar waxwings and it was the spot of the day. Here is the story. We were about to finish up our counting and I said to one of my boys that I was disappointed that we didn’t see any cedar waxwings. We changed windows for a last look and honestly….a flock flew into the tree in our neighbor’s yard at that very moment. It was amazing. I truly would have been satisfied to have seen the flicker again but the cedar waxwings made the whole thing perfect.

American Robin in the Snow

We woke to snow on the ground again on Saturday and I was up early looking out the windows. The bird spotting of the day was to see the robins sitting in the snow-filled tree outside our window.There were a dozen of them sitting in the frozen morning world, quiet and still.

CA Tohwee on branch
California Towhee

The snow melted quickly and we had another bird filled day. We counted at our feeders again but when we went on our afternoon walk we heard and then spotted a red-tailed hawk flying high over our heads. I felt like he appeared just for us. Thanks Mr. Red-Tail.

Scrub jay in the feeder

The only other bird we added to our list for Saturday was the Western Scrub Jay. He can be a very aggressive bird but isn’t he pretty in the morning sunshine? The Western Scrub Jay’s brilliant color almost makes up for not having any cardinals in our part of the world. Almost. The rest of the numbers were higher for most of our regular visitors on Saturday since the weather was actually quite nice by the afternoon hours.

GBBC buttonIt is not too late to join in the fun and you can spend as little as fifteen minutes looking for birds if that is all you can spare. Read more about the Great Backyard Bird Count and share your list with the Outdoor Hour Challenge too!

9 thoughts on “GBBC and Birdzilla and Our Enthusiasm

  1. Birdwatching,

    It’s contagious isn’t it!

    We are having tons of fun too.

    The children woke me early this morning. It almost felt like Christmas:) They were so very excited. I submited the last two days worth of checklist this morning.

    You have added some great photos here. I love too that you’ve posted your checklist. Thats a great idea! It’s neat to see what other states are observing.

  2. Gorgeous picture of the scrub jay. Thanks for sharing.

    We have had a great time this weekend and got to see a bald eagle. I couldn’t take pix bc my camera is broken and I haven’t bought a replacement yet.

    Thanks for the link to birdzilla.

  3. Our other events ran long and we have not had a chance to count yet, and today is rather crummy weather for anything out of doors. However, while out and about we saw a pair of bald eagles fly over head. Amazing!

    We heard they were nesting a few miles away, but had not spotted them ourselves. I guess we had our eyes to the skies even when trapped in other errands. 🙂 Thank you for opening our eyes to so much more than our daily tasks.


  4. Wow! You have QUITE a list for the GBBC! Our lists looks so, um, tiny, and the same every day: Blue Jays, Titmice, Chickadees and Mourning Doves.


  5. I always enjoy seeing the birds on your side of the country. Woodpeckers tapping on the side of the house?

    We’ve been so busy playing with family and celebrating BDs this weekend that we haven’t stopped to count yet. (Though we did see our sweet little brown headed nuthatch).
    Right at dawn is a busy time at our feeder. We’re aiming for early tomorrow!

  6. Great pictures! So fun to read your list from the opposite side of the country. We had a surprise flock (not as big as yours!) of what I think were cedar waxwings come through our yard a couple of years ago and I was fascinated by them – I had never seen them before. They are beautiful birds. We had a lot of fun counting birds this weekend. The kids were so proud they could identify almost all the birds this time. I was proud, too :). Thanks for the reminders about the Bird count. I had forgotten and we almost missed it.

  7. talk about contagious…I am laying here delerious in my bed from the stomach bug and I can hear my kids looking out the window doing the bird count for today, the last day. I LOVE the waxwings. I still don’t have that on my lifelist.

  8. Hi Barbara! I loved this post. We have been enjoying the bird-watching immensely, especially since our birds are just now coming back from winter.

    Your photos are so gorgeous! =)

  9. Ack, I totally forgot the bird count, again. I guess I’ll claim that my brain isn’t restarted after this move yet.
    On the plus side, I’ve gotten everyone in the family pointing out birds to me. Even when my kids were with their grandparents for a month while we did househunting, they evidently were birdwatching. They would call and tell me what they’d seen that day.
    You should have heard my 8yo explaining how he knew it was a downy woodpecker and not a red headed woodpecker that he’d seen. Ahh.

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