Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Get Ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count

Eastern Bluebird

The Great Backyard Bird Count is coming! This coming Friday through Monday, February 12 through 15, the 2010 backyard bird count will occur. If you've never joined in this fun activity, you really should. It takes as little as 15 minutes of your time or you can count as long as you want. All you have to do is set aside 15 minute chunk(s) of time and count what type of birds you see at your feeder, your park, your farm, your favorite nursery, wherever you want. The website (click the link in the 1st sentence) has info to help you identify the birds, track the birds, see what others are reporting, etc. Why is this activity so important? Well here's some info from the website that explains it.

"Your counts can help us answer many questions:
  • How will this winter's snow and cold temperatures influence bird populations?
  • Where are winter finches and other “irruptive” species that appear in large numbers during some years but not others?
  • How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?
  • How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?
  • What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?
  • Are any birds undergoing worrisome declines that point to the need for conservation attention?"

One male and two female Eastern Bluebirds, I think

I've been very excited this week to see some Eastern Bluebirds scoping out my new bluebird nest box (these photos were taken from my second story window). This is the first time I've provided one and it looks like they're right on time. I don't know if they'll ultimately choose this box or not but I feel great that they're even considering it. So what I want to know is if the male bluebirds deliberately court more than one female at a time. It looks like the two birds on the racoon protector are females. I guess it doesn't hurt to cover all the bases!

I hope you join me this weekend as I report on the bird happenings in my backyard.

This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2009. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.

10 comments:

  1. I haven't checked out their website yet, but I hope to join in--especially if they provide some help in identifying the species I see. This should be the perfect weekend for the bird count: with all the snow we've had the last few days, the birds are arriving by the dozens at my feeders. I've seen more female cardinals than I've ever seen before.

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  2. I am ready to count! Thank you for the reminder. The bluebird house was checked out earlier and it's clean and ready for new occupants. Love the photos...their blue is beautiful. gail

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  3. Thanks for the reminder! And cute bluebird pictures!

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  4. I would love to participate but am not sure if it'll actually happen. I'm glad you and many others will be taking part! This is a great way to get people involved in important ecological observations.

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  5. Had lots of fun with it last year and am entirely ready for this year... except I can't find my bird ID book. I've been seeing some kind of flicker, but would love to know exactly what kind. I'm pretty organized, and don't have a ton of stuff, so the fact that I can't find this book is striking!

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  6. Such a great thing to do.

    I did the RSPB bird count at the end of January......the response in UK has been amazing.....

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  7. Great photos! I love the little bluebirds, I hope they move in.

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  8. Yes! Get the word out! My post is going up tomorrow and we are counting then too since it is the most convenient day for our schedule. Well done. You have some beautiful bluebirds there!
    Frances

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  9. I'll try my best. Right now my backyard, and house are coated with some migrating birds on their slow way back up north. My car looks like the swamp thing.

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  10. How'd your count go, Jean? I was going to do a post on mine but haven't gotten to it yet...I did see upwards of 17 bluebirds at a time, so that's worth reporting. Actually, there's a 'family' of them that stay here all winter so basically the same 17 or so hang around almost daily. Lots of robins this winter, too...more than I ever remember. I'm doing a longer-term report (project feederwatch) which I can do about once a week. There's a fee for it...but I like it because I'm not forced to do it just on a particular day or weekend.

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