Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Good morning to everyone! I have been a bad, bad blogger the last week. I can't believe I let 8 days go by without posting. Sorry about that.

The Great Backyard Bird Count of 2009 starts Feb. 13th and runs for 4 days. It's another chance for birders from all over the US and Canada to help ornithologists get a glimpse of where birds are all around the country during those 4 days. It might not seem like much but this information is invaluable to scientists and the birding community, not to mention the birds! This is by far the easiest citizen science project there is.

All you have to do is count birds for at least 15 minutes during one of those four days (longer if you like!), count the greatest number of any species you see at one time and then you just go to the GBBC's website and enter the info into the system. Very simple and, best of all, it's completely free! You can count from anywhere you like (i.e. backyard, local birding hot spot, park) and you can bird as many places as you like. Last year, I think I went to 10 different spots in the area. Just remember to turn in a separate count for each area.

So, I'm challenging all of you readers out there to commit to at least 15 minutes of bird counting over the 4 days and then submit your results. I'll beg if I have to! I would especially like the local Oregon birders to get involved. Are you with me? I hope that sound is a collective nodding.

Anyway, I'll post more info as the date draws closer. But for now, you can check out their website and have a look for yourself. Take care and good birding!

Here are some photos from the yard and a couple of spots around Portland.

The Townsend's Warblers are in the yard all day long now.
They definitely add some color to the yard.
The Yellow-Rumped Warblers are also in the yard all day.
I counted 5 Yellow-Rumped at one time a couple of days ago.
This is at a local duck pond, near Michelle's office. This is a domestic duck but what is up with those feathers? We haven't ever seen that before.
Flicker tongue!
A female Lesser Scaup in breeding plumage. Taken just behind Michelle's office in Beaverton.
House Finch on one of the bird baths.
House Finches galore!
Mr. Hummy looking as cool as ever.
A Red-Tailed Hawk at the duck pond.
These were all American Wigeons. There were so many of them that they made the water look like it was boiling.
A Blue Heron, also behind Michelle's office.
A Greylag (domestic) Goose keeping it's eye on us.
A female Brewer's Blackbird.
Here are a few photos from our BirdCam.
Finally caught the Spotted Towhee!
A White-Crowned Sparrow
House Finch, Song Sparrow and a House Sparrow.
A lonely Song Sparrow wondering why the $#&*% squirrel knocked the feeding tray off!

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North West Birds said...

Is it just me or have you been getting more Warblers lately?

It's the front feathers on that Duck that throw me off, never seen one quite like that.

Have a good week!

linda said...

OK, you've convinced me to observe for the GBBC. Just have to set a reminder in my calendar and now i can't wait~

A Portland Backyard said...

Very cool, Linda! The birds thank you (and so do I)!!

Heather said...

I will do my best to participate in GBBC this year. I skipped it last year, for some reason. I'll post results if I do the count, and hopefully some photos, too.

jan m said...

I'll be there.