Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Preparing for the Christmas Bird Count
I have not been out birding since the first week of November when we returned home from our vacation. Fall migration is over and our winter visitors have settled in for the next few months. Juncos and American Tree Sparrows hang around suburban back yards while Bald Eagles, winter finches and various water birds require some searching out along trails and water ways.
Our local Christmas Bird Count is happening again this coming weekend. I am doing a feeder count at our house but we haven't been tracking our regular visitors over the past few weeks. The counts need to be accurate and it is necessary to determine if there are repeat customers around or if different birds visit throughout the day.
So far I have counted one pair each of Red-breasted Nuthatches, White-breasted Nutchatches, Northern Cardinals, and Downy Woodpeckers. It is harder to count the Black-capped Chickadees, Juncos, House Finches and Sparrows and Mourning Doves. And I keep hoping for some unexpected visitor that may drop by for only a few minutes. Now that we have snow cover, the feeders are much busier. Squirrels do not count but they are very persistent and amusing to watch.
If you have the time and inclination, look into participating in the Christmas Bird Count in your area. Here is more information for people in Ontario, Canada.