Our winter bird study happens every week with Project Feederwatch, observing birds in our own yard for a few minutes at a time. We also participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count in February. Both citizen science projects are super easy to complete. Even when we first started counting birds, back when we couldn’t name every bird, we felt a sense of joy at awakening our admiration for birds.
This year our list was much smaller than previous years. We are guessing it is the weather we have been experiencing with much warmer and sunny days, very little rain. I am assuming this is valuable information to share with the scientists at the GBBC as they process the data and see where birds are in 2014 during the count.
Here is our official list for the Great Backyard Bird Count:
- Nuttall’s woodpecker – 1
- Anna’s hummingbird – 1
- Titmouse – 1
- Western scrub jay – 1
- American goldfinch – 2
- House finch – 10
- Dark-eyed Junco 6
- House sparrow – 4
- White-crowned sparrow – 4
Other birds seen in February 2014:
- Spotted towhee
- White-breasted nuthatch
- Acorn woodpecker
- Fox sparrow
- California towhee
We have a new bird that visits under our birdfeeder which is exciting. It is a Fox sparrow (sooty). I have yet to get a really good photo of him but I will keep trying. This is the type of bird that has flown into my window twice now. They are such pretty birds and it makes me sad to see them perish in such an undignified way.
I am also working on my Nature Study Goals for 2014 and trying to add some of my newer bird discoveries to my nature journal. Here is my Bewick’s wren entry…not very original but it works. Drawing birds is a challenge for me but I think this one turned out decently. I haven’t seen this particular wren in weeks but I am keeping my eye out to see when it returns to our yard.
Last summer we added a new suet feeder to the yard and it has now become a favorite of the Acorn woodpecker. He comes just about every day to eat and I enjoy watching him with all his colorful glory. I will keep it stocked with suet and see if he becomes a year-round resident.
March is the last month of Project Feederwatch for the season. I am always sad to see it go but I keep an informal record of the birds seen at our feeders just about year-round. It brings me such joy!