Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Bird Count at my Feeder

I signed up to watch our feeders for the annual Christmas Bird Count this past weekend. Saturday was a bright sunny day between storms and a lot of new snow was on the ground. I have been watching the feeders most days this month and have come to recognize the regular visitors. While it seems that a lot of birds visit throughout the day, there are really very few in total. Here is my tally for the day.
  1. Mourning Doves-2
  2. Northern Cardinals-2 (male and female)
  3. Black-capped Chickadees-6
  4. Red-breasted Nuthatches-2
  5. Dark-eyed Juncos-6 (4 males, 2 females)
  6. American Goldfinch-3
  7. House Finch-4 (2 male, 2 female)
  8. House Sparrows-15
  9. Downy Woodpeckers-2 (male and female)
  10. Crow-1 (not at my feeders, but hanging around the yard)
...and our little Red Squirrel. The Chipmunk and larger squirrels were nowhere to be found after the storm. Hopefully they are hibernating somewhere and will stay away from my feeders for a while.

I went out with Samuel last weekend and we found a large flock of Cedar Waxwings in a tree in the country. They were facing into a very cold wind. I was surprised to see this many Waxwings at this time of year. Seabrooke also found an unusual number of Cedar Waxwings in her part of eastern Ontario while doing the Christmas Bird Count.

Here is the link with the report of the December 20th bird count in our city.
Here is a link about the history of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.


  1. Anonymous7:44 am GMT-5

    That is a fantastic count. You have more birds on your feeders then I do, but I think you have more feeders too. It' so nice to see the "red" birds this time of's so Christmasy.
    I think you have made a pet out of that red squirrel, he's not leaving. Have you named him yet?

  2. Wow, you must have been birding a lot to see all these birds. Have you made a shelter from the wind for the birds.

  3. That's quite a tally. It makes me wonder how many species come to my feeders that I just don't see.

    Love your red squirrel picture. The lighting is nice on his fur- weak winter sun but warm too.

  4. Love the collage.You do have a good variety of birds at your feeders.

  5. All we get in winter are Chickadees, Nuthatches, Hairy and Pileated Woodpeckers ... haven't seen the Downy for a while. Squirrel emerged yesterday as it warmed up to -12 C during the day! -20 overnight.

  6. I was sorry to see that the House Sparrows outnumbered the other birds by such a large number. Of course, I'll bet you aren't that happy about it either.

  7. That looks like a lot of different species in one day. I saw two droves of Cedar Waxwings this past weeknd. I suppose they really were together but swarming in two parts really close together. I have never seen that many before. I live in North East AL. They were chriping up a storm is why I looked up and noticed them. Helen

  8. Anonymous5:53 am GMT-5

    I average about ten species at my feeder over the winter, with an occasional special visitor, like a red-bellied woodpecker or a Carolina wren.

    Sorry you didn't find a cowbird for your count. Mine was a first in probably two months, so I don't know where he flew in from.

    Merry Christmas Ruth, to you and your family!

  9. Hi Ruth,

    I think you have a great count in your backyard, considering the hard winter you are having. You probably have more birds visiting than you know...


  10. Thanks for your comments. Mary, I don't have any other secret visitors this year. They are all down in the Carolinas. Last year we had Redpolls, one Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Pine Siskins. The species count is a little lower this season, but certain birds make a winter appearance infrequently.

  11. I like the red squirrel photo.I guess a lot of us will be involved with the Christmas Counts.-It's much better to count them than what they usedto do back when the whole Christmas count started.

  12. It's been so busy over the holidays I'm still catching up on all my reading. Thanks for the plug. :) Looks like you've had some decent activity at your feeders. We haven't seen a single House Finch at our feeders up here, or Purple Finch, and I miss the colourful little guys. Interesting that you also found a large group of waxwings. I wonder if the berry crops were quite good this year?


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