Sunday, February 14, 2021

Snowy Valentine's Day Great Backyard Bird Count Pictures

Because of the pandemic, my city was already planning on one part of its Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) event being virtual, but due to the weather, all of it was moved online. I hosted two livestream sessions. One on Friday, February 12 where I gave background on and how to participate in the GBBC. We added a livestream on Saturday instead of heading out in the weather for socially distanced guided bird walks. In this livestream, I chatted with a member of the Fort Worth Audubon Society about her birding experiences and we discussed several local birds featured in photos provided by another resident. You can find both of these videos on my personal Facebook page.

These images are from today. Click on them to enlarge them. Even though I have only been counting from inside my house and the bad weather, I think I have counted more species than I have ever counted during a four day GBBC and we still have Monday to go. I have seen at least one of each of the following birds: American Crow, American goldfinch, American Robin, Blue Jay, Carolina chickadee, Cedar waxwing, Dark-eyed junco, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Gull sp., House finch, House sparrow, Lincoln's sparrow, Mourning dove, Northern Cardinal, Northern Flicker, Northern mockingbird, Pine siskin, Red-bellied woodpecker, Red-tailed hawk, Ruby-crowned kinglet, Tufted Titmouse, Turkey vulture, White-winged dove, Yellow-bellied sapsucker and Yellow-rumped warbler. There are other birds that can be around my property this time of year, but I think this is pretty good. In fact the bird in my last post showed back up for me to count. If I do not get a correct guess in the comments as to what it is, I will add another photo and identify it after the GBBC is over.

If you have not gotten a chance to count birds for the GBBC this year. If you are cooped up because of our strong winter storm in Texas, take some time to count the birds. Merlin is a great, free app for android or iOS that helps greatly with bird identification. The count runs through Monday, February 15, 2021.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

2021 Great Backyard Bird Count Starts Soon

This year's Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) starts in less than a week. Join this fun, citizen scientist project for a minimum of 15 minutes at a time, whenever you have the time on February 12-15. The goal is to count the birds that you see and record your data for scientists to use in their studies.

To get ready, find your binoculars and grab a birding guide to help you identify any birds you are not familiar with. There are several good birding field guide books and apps you can install on your phone or tablet. A camera can also be helpful for identification.

I will be doing a livestream on Friday, February 12 at 10am to provide how to information and hopefully answer any questions viewers may have. I will post a link a few days before the livestream in the discussion tab on my City's GBBC event page.

While I have not seen them for a couple of weeks, I had some new visitors to my yard for a month or more recently. The photo in this post is of one of the pair. Can you identify this bird as it plays peekaboo in my bald cypress tree? (Click on the images to see a larger view.) If you can or have a guess, please write it in the comments.
After I see a correct ID, I will add a photo that shows more of the bird.

I hope you get a chance to join my GBBC livestream and/or participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count this year. Making time to observe nature, whether from in your home or outdoors, is good for your mood. So do something positive for yourself and the birds and join in the fun.

Update: While I had not seen the yellow-shafted northern flickers for a couple of weeks when I wrote this blog post, they did show up to be counted during the GBBC. I have added the second photo to this post so you get a better view of this bird as it pops out of hiding to say, "Here I am".