Friday, February 20, 2009

Great Backyard Bird Count '09

We were away at our son and DIL's for 3 of the 4 days of the count, helping to celebrate our youngest grandson's 5th birthday. I had hoped to count with our 2 grandsons at their place, but the birdies were feeding elsewhere, apparently. They do have a feeder, but their feathered friends were not visiting on Saturday.

During the drive out and back I saw several hawks flying over the thruway and got a brief, but good look at one sitting on the grass by the side of the road. I think it was a red tail.

I chose to count on Monday (Feb. 16th), after we were back home.
These photos were not all taken that day.

Mourning Doves in early January.

The pretty, gentle doves are some of the earliest birds at the feeders each morning.

The weather was relatively mild at around 30ºF/-1ºC so the bird activity was less than it is on a cold, snowy day. We see the most birds when a storm is coming.

Female Downy Woodpecker peeking at me.

Male Hairy Woodpecker

Female Hairy on suet, left....male Downy on right. Posted by Picasa

Blue Jays Posted by Picasa

Black-Capped Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse, Pine Siskin behind.

White-breasted Nuthatch Posted by Picasa

European Starling

American Tree Sparrow.

Notice the spot on its breast. This is how you distinguish them from Chipping Sparrows, which are a little smaller, and migratory. They'll come through in early spring.

Dark-eyed Junco Posted by Picasa

Male Northern Cardinal.

Yesterday we had six males and a female. I've seen 4 males quite often lately, but 6 is a record for us!

Female Northern Cardinal Posted by Picasa She's such a little sweety.

Pine Siskin

American Goldfinch

Female House Sparrow soaking up the winter sun. Posted by Picasa

Male House Sparrow. Posted by Picasa

Here's my count list:

Mourning Dove 9
Downy Woodpecker 4
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Blue Jay 6
American Crow 5
Black-capped Chickadee 12
Tufted Titmouse 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
European Starling 11
American Tree Sparrow 4
Dark-eyed Junco 3
Northern Cardinal 2
Pine Siskin 1
American Goldfinch 15
House Sparrow 5

Total 84

Counts are submitted to online at

You can also check reports for all areas and look at the many wonderful photos that participants have submitted.

It's a fun activity.
Maybe you'd like to try it next year.


Sheila said...[Reply]

Wow, that is a lot of birds. We have a few here but not that much variety. Lucky you!

Sue Swift said...[Reply]

I'm glad to see you still have sparrows. We've got them here in Milan too, but in my London garden they're now non-existent. yet when I was growing up, they were by far the most common bird around.

Tabor said...[Reply]

I have seen all at our place but not in such great numbers...all but the house sparrows.

HappyMouffetard said...[Reply]

What wonderful photos!

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...[Reply]

Great bird count!

The Mourning Doves flock here. They're always under the shrubs in my gardening, all hunkered down. I love their coo -- so beautiful!

The hawks have been on the move lately and scaring off the birds. The woodpeckers, finches, bluebirds, robins, cardinals, tufted titmouse and others are regulars. I haven't noticed the Juncos in the last few days -- could they have already gone home?


sweet bay said...[Reply]

Wow, great pictures as always, Kerri. What lens do you use?

Sandra said...[Reply]

I always love visiting your home via your beautiful pictures! You (and the camera) do a wonderful presentation. Keep 'em coming. lol

GardenJoy4Me said...[Reply]

Kerri .. you have taken excellent pictures of so many birds !
Funny I have a soft spot for the chickadee .. the titmouse and nuthatch .. and what about that RED Cardinal .. OK .. I'm hooked on most of them. We have morning Doves that come back to our garden in the Spring every year ..they feel safe and loved here I think .. along with lots of Goldfinches .. they are so relaxing and interesting to watch : )

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...[Reply]

What great pictures and an interesting list. I've never seen a White-breasted nuthatch. This was our first year participating and it really was fun.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...[Reply]

Wow, Kerri, what a great collection of birds you saw on the bird count! I don't have time to participate in these (and am not so great at identifying birds) but we had lots of snow buntings here today--to go with the extra snow we got...sigh. I'll see spring about June!

tina said...[Reply]

What great shots Kerri. I especially like the one of the female downy woodpecker and starling. You counted a bunch of birds too. They must love your place.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Wonderful bird shots. All I know in the city are pigeons and sparrows. Oh, I once saw a woodpecker. Actually, I heard it more than saw it. Also saw a hawk that scared all the pigeons away and saw once some Mourning doves. ;-)


Kylee said...[Reply]

We have so many of the same birds here. I love the photo of the two different woodpeckers. It really shows the difference in size.

Kathleen said...[Reply]

So funny. I was just going to say what Kylee said ~ that photo of the Hairy & Downy woodpeckers was perfect for illustrating their size difference. I always get a little confused which is which but seeing them together, it's easy to tell, isn't it? Lovely, lovely photos of so many beautiful birds. Many I don't see in my garden so it was a treat to check out your bird count Kerri. I'm hoping to participate next year (if the hawks don't scare everything out of my yard like they did this year).

Anonymous said...[Reply]

You get so many lovely birds Kerri, it's almost like your flowers have returned for the winter in the guise of a bird!

Lesley said...[Reply]

Love love love the bird pics. I too feed the birds here in northern England and have a fair variety although maybe not so many as you.

But I struggle to take such good shots of our visitors. How do you get close enough? Do you use a really long lense; taken them through the window or have a hide or something? Any tips would be gratefully received as my bird feeder visitor shots are not up to your standards and I'd really like to improve...

I'm very pleased to have found your blog and will be back frequently.

Lesley x

Frances said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, I was sure that I had left a comment on this post for I remember well your photos and grandsons birthday. Oh well. Your photos are such a joy, as always. I know how much you love the birds and it looks like they love your caring for them as well. Isn't it fun how the goldfinches travel in such large groups? Very social birds. The waxwings came through today in large numbers. The deck is a mess from their eating the holly berries of the many American holly trees in the neighborhood. I don't mind, though for seeing them is always a thrill.

em said...[Reply]

kerri, wow, that makes me want to move up to the country! i wonder what they all sound like, together, as we have such limited types of birds here. maybe you could tape them all and add a recording to your blog this spring?

Liisa said...[Reply]

Being that spring will be upon us shortly, I was thinking about trying to attract some bluebirds. I've heard that you need to do this in very early spring. You are so great at attracting birds, I thought you might have some good tips!! Would this be anything you would be interested in posting about? If not, maybe you could suggest a good website? I would love to hear any suggestions that you may have.

judypatooote said...[Reply]

Oh my goodness Kerri, what beautiful pictures and sooooooo many birds....I would be in seventh heaven....your bluejay and cardinals are gorgeous....We were teased with almost 60 degree weather here and yesterday we had another snow storm....and flakes all day is beautiful when everything is white, but it sure is ugly when it melts and all the brown shows up.....hope your well, and staying warm.... judy

Tyra in Vaxholm said...[Reply]

Amazing Kerri all those birds on one day. You are so good at catching those birds.


Muddy Boot Dreams said...[Reply]

Kerri, what beautiful bird shots. You have a amazing variety of birds. Much more than we ever see around here.


Roses and Lilacs said...[Reply]

You have a wonderful variety of birds.

I really like that rounded suet feeder. Perfect for chunks of real beef suet.

joey said...[Reply]

Stunning photos and impressive count, Kerri! I especially love the little woodpeckers and chickadee :)

sharp green pencil said...[Reply]

Hi from Val.. thanks so much for your comment and I am so pleased to have found your blog. Your photos are beautiful such great colour and detail. I am sure lots of artists would like to pay homage to them!! :)

Layanee said...[Reply]

Great bird shots. I am so enjoying the birds and the feeders! Don't they add much to the day?

Robin's Nesting Place said...[Reply]

I can't imagine that many blue jays dining together at one time. Mine take turns.

You always have such a great variety of birds.

Roses and stuff said...[Reply]

It's amazing how many different birds you've counted. We only get four or five different species around our house.
Excellent shots - thanks for sharing.

Philip Bewley said...[Reply]

Wonderful images. You have so many birds we do not see here.
I loved looking at your photos.

Apple said...[Reply]

Five already! Wishing him a belated Happy Birthday.

You make the pictures look so easy. I tried to capture some of the birds that entertained me in Florida. I guess I need (lots!) more practice ;-)

WiseAcre said...[Reply]

This was a great post for the birds.

The little sweety is my favorite. She puts up with the flirting males in their pimp suits and doesn't complain about her drab outfit.

The photo of the gang of hooligans showing off their colors was very nice. I haven't been able to get close enough to a Blue Jay to even get a shot. They seem to know what I'm up to and will lead me on and on just staying out of focus range when I'm out for a hike.

Marie said...[Reply]

Beautiful photos of beautiful birds!
I love birds :)

In transit said...[Reply]

Great pics - just beautiful!
Thanks for stopping by and visiting Evelynne :-)

Sharon Kay said...[Reply]

As always beautiful pictures, you must have a very good camera and I know you have the eye needed gor a wonderful picture, thanks for sharing Sharon K

david santos said...[Reply]

Well, well, well! Brilliant posting! Excellent inspiration, Kerri!

Pomona Belvedere said...[Reply]

Your personable bird pictures and brief identifications are a great example of entertaining while you educate. I was reminded of many east-coast U.S. birds which I used to know when I was younger. I'm going to look up the woodpeckers and see if we have some of the same kinds here.

London sparrows disappearing? What is the world coming to?

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

Kerri, you have a good selection of birds for the dead of winter.

Barbara said...[Reply]

A very impressive selection of birds and so many of them ! You did a good job, dear Kerri! We do not know this official counting here, but I find it is a good idea!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

I suggest you check out for a wide selection of hanging basket sizes.