Monday, November 14, 2011

May the counting begin!

Project FeederWatch got underway this past weekend. This will be my 7th season counting for this citizen science project run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and I can't wait to see what kind of new and interesting things I'll see at my feeders this winter, whether it be a new species, a record-breaking flock of Grackles, or a never before seen behavior or interaction among the birds.

Already I have some interesting data to look at from my first counting session. Looks like things are getting off to a start that is practically identical to last season. The exact same species showed up, with only the tiniest variation in the numbers of each. How about that?

species wknd of 11.13.10 wknd of 11.12.11
Mourning Dove 13 13
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 1
Downy Woodpecker 2 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1 2
Carolina Chickadee 4 5
Tufted Titmouse 3 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 3 4
Northern Cardinal 2 2
American Goldfinch 9 10
Total individuals 38 41

Looking back on past seasons' data, I should expect to see some Juncos next weekend. I have seen a few in town already, but none yet in our own yard.

I can tell that my fascination with goldfinches and their striking plumage is going to continue.

Here we got a nice look at their white patches above the tail, not feathers you see terribly often

And the nuthatches will continue with their bold antics, running each other off from the feeders. I hope to catch some good shots of them with their various displays of aggression, but they are fast and hard to keep up with the camera. Unless they're eating, that is.

One new bird that I hope to draw in this year is the Brown Creeper. They are definitely in our woods, but they're not exactly a bird that takes to traditional bird feeders. I'm going to try some homemade "bark butter" to see if that will bring them in.

And, it will be time to start making homemade bird dough soon, once the temps actually decide to get cold (as I write this at 8:30 in the evening, it's still 69 degrees outside... I'm not complaining, but it is a bit odd for mid-November!). Will my Pileated Woodpecker come back again this year for a sample of that tasty treat? I surely hope so!


Caroline said...

Bless you for making the counting Feederwatch, and not shopping days till Christmas. I do Feederwatch too, both at home and my kids help with one at school.

Anonymous said...

Just found your site and love it. I'm just a casual birdwatcher and I admire those who get out there and take wonderful photos like yours and give so much information along with them.

Heather said...

Caroline - I am not a fan of Christmas shopping, so I sure won't be doing any counting in that regard! ;) Glad to hear you're FeederWatching, too!

Grandelights - Welcome, and thank you for your comments! I hope I can provide you with some good info over the course of the winter!