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.


  1. We put a bath out this summer and now have a heated winter bath/drinking place, but have yet to attract any birds. I don't really want to do a feeder, but ...

  2. What a beautiful little bird in the last picture...what is it?


  3. I hope the Bird count goes well and that you have fun doing it.Just maybe a new visitor will show up.

  4. The feeders certainly have picked up business in the past few days.

    I was thinking I may have run into on Saturday at Riverside park feeding the chickadees. There sure was plenty of them. They were fighting to get on my hand. A white breasted nuthatch was only millimeters from feeding out of my hand. Maybe next time :) I counted 6 male cardinals and 3 females hanging out waiting for seeds. I believe that there was also a pine siskin. I sure hope you get out soon again birding.

  5. I couldn't even begin to count the sparrows at my feeders. ;-)
    Have fun counting.

  6. Not sure why I've never participated in a count, but I've yet to!

  7. AC- Feeders are messy but are likely the only way to attract significant numbers of birds (and squirrels!)

    Carol- That is a Red-breasted Nuthatch. They are tiny and brave and will take food from your hand.

    Ruth- Last year there was a lot of snow and I had a good number of birds to count. Hopefully the same will happen this year.

    Cheryl- I have to get to Riverside soon!!

    Gaelyn- Yes the sparrows come in droves. The chickadees are also hard to count.

    Jayne- You of all people should do a count with the variety of visitors which come to your feeders. I am not expecting a Red-shouldered Hawk...!

  8. Not much happening bird-wise around here. we need some snow before they decide "Hey, let's go make the rounds of the feeders"! Thanks for your words about my blog break. I enjoy your blog and will keep following and drop by again.

  9. Do they bigger birds bully the little ones?

    I feed sparrows and other natives, lately, pigeons come take over.


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