This was the second year I participated, and I’ve been looking forward to doing so very much. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate, so I ended up being limited to about 20 minutes in my backyard yesterday! Even though I didn’t spend much time, I still learned some things, just like last year. (And I still might make it out one more time today.)
I was able to identify tufted titmice, a cardinal and two doves. After scrutinizing the doves with the binoculars, I realized they are mourning doves, not common ground doves as I had thought. I also saw two other little birds flitting through the yard, and while I’m not sure what they were (those buggers were quick), I think one was a Carolina wren and one was a yellow-throated warbler, both of which I’ve seen in our yard before. Other birds I saw yesterday while on a walk and not “officially counting”: vultures (circling overhead, so not sure which type), some white ibis, and what I think was a common loon. (I need a better bird book…)
I also learned, by flipping through that bird book while I was waiting for more action around the birdfeeder, that the little waterfowl I see in our retention pond are hooded mergansers. I am definitely a bird novice, and I’d never heard of these birds before! It’s so much fun to learn new things about the creatures that share my environment.
It’s not too late! You can still participate in the bird count today. (That’s right: go ahead, drop everything and go out and count birds!) Deadline for submitting your observations is March 1. (You can enter them online at http://gbbc.birdsource.org/gbbcApps/input. Those who submit reports will be eligible for bird-related prizes.)