Friday, January 30, 2009

14 days and counting...

...until the Great Backyard Bird Count of 2009! Starting February 13th and running through the 16th this is a great chance (and excuse) to get out and count some birds. Whether it's in your backyard, a local park or even your favorite Wildlife Refuge, you can count for as little as 15 minutes or as much as you want! Just check out the GBBC's website here and have a look around. Please see below for more information! Thanks and we hope you all are ready to count!

This little Townsend's Warbler wanted me to remind you to check out last year's Great Backyard Bird Count Top-10 lists. Just go here!

This beautiful Male Downy Woodpecker stopped by and told me (between bites of suet) to ask you if you would please participate in this years GBBC? What should I tell him you said?

Oh, the Townsend's Warbler is back and, again, wanted me to remind you that you can look up all the numbers from any state on the GBBC's website. You'll find that here.

Then, the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet swooped in for a bite of suet and to ask me to tell you that you can look up last year's Photo Contest Winners. Just check this out.

(voice of the Townsend's) are getting very sleepy... you are so relaxed... so, I want you to count for the GBBC on Feb. 13th-16th... WANT to count... you NEED to count... that's relaxed... now, when I click my will wake up feeling relaxed and rested...but when the calendar reaches the 13th of will become a counting will count birds all day long and you will go to the GBBC website and enter your counts.... 'CLICK'

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BirdCam Photos

Here are some recent photos from the BirdCam. I will be posting some "regular" photos tomorrow and talking more about the Great Backyard Bird Count. Until then, you can go here and read up about the program. It fun and easy and free! Hope you enjoy the photos.

A Western Scrub-Jay

A Steller's Jay

Female House Sparrow

3 Golden-Crowned Sparrows

White-Crowned Sparrow

Another Steller's Jay

Golden-Crowned Sparrow

Dark-Eyed Junco

Male House Sparrow

And, of course, the squirrels just have to get in on the action!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snow...Round 2

Well, it snowed again here in Portland. About 2 inches fell last night, and boy, did it bring the birds in! We woke up this morning to a yard overflowing with birdies. The Lincoln's Sparrow was back (he hasn't been here since the last snow) and the Warblers were back in force. It's over half melted now but it was sure pretty while it lasted. Here are some photos from the yard. Hope you enjoy.

For the last week or so, we have only been seeing about 5-10 Juncos in the yard. Today, we easily had 40. We just need to snow to come in and fill the yard back up.

2 of the 5 or 6 Yellow-Rumped Warblers that are in the yard full time.

A Ruby-Crowned Kinglet was nice enough to pose for a close-up.

We are now getting 4-5 Townsend's Warblers in the yard during the day, too.

Such gorgeous birds.

The Yellow-Rumped Warblers feed more on the ground than they do on the suet.

The House Finches seem to be getting their breeding plumage.

A Chestnut-Backed Chickadee and a Red-Breasted Nuthatch sharing some suet.

We have been seeing more of the Bushtits recently. They weren't coming around very much in the last month or so.

This morning, there were dozens and dozens of Pine Siskins and Lesser and American Goldfinches on the thistle feeders. I know the thistle sacks look dirty, but I assure you that they are washed regularly.

A Song Sparrow, 2 House Sparrows, Golden-Crowned Sparrow and a White-Crowned Sparrow.

This morning, Michelle heard a loud crash against our living room window. A Pine Siskin had struck the window pretty hard. When I went out to get him, we were both sure that he wasn't going to make it. He was on his side and his legs looked mangled. We picked him up, put him in a box and gave him some food and water. After about 20 minutes, I opened the box to see if he was still alive and, WHOOSH, he flew out of it and into the garage. It took us about 10 minutes to catch him and release him in the backyard. He flew off and seemed to be completely recovered.

A Towhee, Golden-Crowned Sparrow and a House Sparrow.

As we were in the office watching birds through the window, we heard another crash against the window, but this time, the crash came from the inside. Apparently, our cat Gem didn't like the idea of a squirrel on our window ledge. So she threw herself against the window got tangled in the blinds and made one heck of a racket while doing it.

Then, one of our dogs, Black Top, got in on the action. At first, he didn't seem to know what it was or what to do.

Then, he threw himself against the window. The squirrel shot of the ledge and ran into a nearby tree, thankful to have made it out alive!

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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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