February 12th through the 15th, The Great Backyard Bird Count was in full swing and what I thought was so remarkable is this happens all over the world- the world people! If you had the opportunity to view the live map, it was super cool to see how many people from different countries participate in this event.
For our backyard bird count, we have three locations where we placed our bird feeders – front yard, back yard, and the side of the house where I put a double shepherd’s hook with a standard bird feeder and a tray feeder; this was where I was watching the birds.
Our backyard bird list:
It was a great experience for my husband and me. To relax and enjoy spending time together and watching these birds. We became fascinated by the varieties of birds visiting our birdfeeders. We learned that the birds visited the feeders randomly, as if the visits were spurts at different times. Sort of like breakfast (9am) – snack (10am) – lunch (12pm) – snack (1pm) and then dinner (3pm). The birds didn’t seem to horde over the feeders; they also went to search for insects.
There were a couple of new things during our birding observation that surprised us. My husband noticed that a Carolina Chickadee is building its nest in the snag in our backyard. This will be our first time to watch this bird raise a family.
Another interesting observation is when it was raining I observed a dove perched in the nearby oak tree. I watched the dove lean over to one side and lift its wing up and back and then do the same thing on the opposite side. I guess this is one way birds can clean underneath their wing. Unfortunately, I did not get any video, but I will be on the lookout for this particular behavior next time.
I do think the best part of our three-day backyard birding observation was seeing the pair of Pileated woodpeckers visit the lot gathering berries from the Chinese Tallow trees. They are so huge and so strong. When you hear their call, it’s like you can close your eyes and pretend you’re in the jungle.
This event is a great learning tool for those just beginning to learn about birding and the opportunity to discover the variety of species you have in your neighborhood.
But don’t get stressed out if you can’t id many of the birds. I was in the same boat. I couldn’t remember any of these birds’ names and I felt extremely uneducated, but there are many, many, many of us in that same boat. And that perfectly okay!
During this time I learned more about how to identify two birds I often get confused- Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler and the Yellow-rumped Warbler. Now I know to look for specific things to id them.
Repetition is probably the easiest way to learn to identify birds. The most important thing is to have fun and be a part of something bigger because birds really do tell us a lot about what’s going on in our environment. They’re amazing and quite fun to observe. Even if it’s just a short amount of time, you can see how diverse each bird is, from its colors, sizes, different becks, patterns to its songs.
This event happens yearly, so if you didn’t get a chance to participate this year, don’t worry; 2022 will be waiting for you.
OH, and don’t forget to clean your birdfeeders and birdbaths, or else you’ll get the bird stare and people, it’s not pretty!
Be safe in your travels!