Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jackson Bottom Wetlands

Yesterday, Michelle and I went to Jackson Bottom Wetlands to scout for some first of year birds. We weren't disappointed! We identified 51 species and suspect at few other species. It was a little foggy at first, but it burned off pretty quickly. Hope you enjoy the photos. A list of birds we saw is at the end of this post.

2 adult Bald Eagles flew right over our heads as we were making our way through the area.

This was a very friendly Song Sparrow that decided to investigate our intentions a little closer.

A Belted Kingfisher scanning for some breakfast.

We saw quite a few Fox Sparrows in our travels around the wetland.

Also plentiful were the Bewick's Wren.

A flock of Dunlin at one of the ponds. The were very well camouflaged.

One of our favorite birds is the White-Breasted Nuthatch. He was just slowly working his way around this tree.
List of birds we saw at Jackson Bottom:
American Goldfinch
Lesser Goldfinch
House Finch
Red-Winged Blackbird
Golden-Crowned Sparrow
White-Throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Spotted Towhee
Yellow-Rumped Warbler (both Audubon's and Myrtle)
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
Marsh Wren
Bewick's Wren
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Black-Capped Chickadee
Steller's Jay
Downy Woodpecker
Belted Kingfisher
Mourning Dove
Red-Tailed Hawk
Bald Eagle
Great Egret
Blue Heron
Pied-Billed Grebe
Ruddy Duck
Common Merganser
Lesser Scaup
Green-Winged Teal
American Wigeon
Tundra Swan
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Well, it that time of year again. Yep, the Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up! It's a very fun and easy way to participate in citizen science and to have your observations truly contribute to the scientific studies of birds. Plus, it's something that you enjoy doing anyway....watching birds!

The first thing you can do, is set aside some time between Feb. 12th-15th to count birds. You can spend as little as 15 minutes counting on just 1 day, or as much as 10 hours each of the four days. It's completely up to you! For more info, just visit the GBBC website and have a look around.

(Townsend's Warbler)

Now, when the count actually starts (on Feb. 12th) the only thing you need to do is count the greatest number of each species that you see together at any one time. So, for example, if you see 5 Juncos together in the morning, and then you see 10 Juncos together in the evening, you would just mark down that you saw 10 Juncos. For more info on how it works, see this page.

(Yellow-Rumped Warbler)

If you're not sure what species you may have in your area, you can download and/or print a regional checklist directly from the GBBC website here!

(Evening Grosbeaks)

Then, after you are done with your count for the day, you can go here to the input page (the actual form will be available the first day of the count). This is a very easy form to fill out and only takes a few minutes. You just never know what you might find in your backyard!

(Bald Eagle)

So don't lounge around all day! Just pick up your binoculars and a piece of paper and keep track of what you see. If you want to, grab your camera and take some photos of the birds you see during the count. You can submit your pics on the site and have a chance to win some great prizes...take a look!

(Canada Goose Gosling)

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