Monday, February 16, 2009

The Great Backyard Bird Count

This weekend I participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society. I had a great time with this! While my yard is hardly a haven for birds (I have 3 cats who go outside, which is why I don't and won't have a feeder), I really do enjoy them. When I lived in the inner city of Cleveland, the starlings (common as dirt!) outside my window were the only bit of nature I had, and they gave me hours of enjoyment.

Between the hours of around 8:00 a.m. and whenever the cats decide to go outside, though, you can see quite a few birds in my yard. I do wish I'd had time to venture into the woods to see more and more variety of birds.

The count lasted four days and here are my totals:
American Robin 12
European Starling 20
House Sparrow (at Wal-Mart... they're such scavengers) 15
Mockingbird 3
Tufted Titmouse 1
Cardinal 7
Blue Jay 2
Mourning Dove 8
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Wild Turkey 2
Turkey Vulture 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Eastern Bluebird 1
Chickadee 1
Great Blue Heron 1

Most of those are seeable in Ohio, but I do love the much greater prevalence of Eastern Bluebirds and Mockingbirds, here in Tennessee. The maps were a lot of fun to look at on the GBBC Website.

If you'd like to participate in an ongoing bird project go to that website I gave above, and in the right column there is a winter-long Project Feeder Watch, and also the eBird site, which is a permanent bird count site.

The GBBC is a yearly event so keep an eye out for it next year.