Sunday, May 25, 2014

Breeding Bird Count

       Every spring we conduct a breeding bird count. Most breeding birds have arrived and established nesting territory. Late migrants are still arriving. Cedar waxwings are one of the last to arrive as they show up in mid June.

      Today was a perfect day for a count. The temperature was in the 15C (60 F) to 20 C (70) range. There was thin cloud and very little wind. This combination means that birds are moving and it's a little easier to see them. 

     I have a territory that I've counted in for years. It consists of a wide ravine. Most of it is old growth forest with some open spots that have been made into picnic areas or playgrounds. I saw 19 species of birds today. If I'd known I was on 19 I'd have worked a little harder to find number twenty. There were two species that were there but I didn't get them . I heard a woodpecker but couldn't find him in some old dead poplar so I had to leave him. And of course there's always a warbler that sings his heart out but never shows himself. I'm sure I had a golden eagle but it was too far away to be definite. There were also two small birds chasing each other beside the stream.

   We are also supposed to count blooming plants. Since things are late this year some common species are missing.

    Now between me and my primitive camera, I don't get bird photos. So I do the next best thing. I bring you flower photos. Flowers sit still while you photograph them.

Buffalo beans


Early blue violet

Small flowered butter cup

Saskatoon
        Count days are a lot of fun for me. Are there any other birders out there who do counts?

31 comments:

  1. I went on a hike yesterday evening Red and I heard a beautiful warbler's voice high in the trees and it was echoing throughout the forest. I looked and looked but could not find him/her. But I certainly heard their song :)

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    1. Yes, warblers like tree tops to chase each other around. Kinglets do the same thing.

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  2. I have done the Cornell counts, plus banded birds many times. I really enjoy trying to beat a previous record always. We do plant transects over areas being grazed just to make sure the buffalo aren't removing species.

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    1. I refer often to the Cornell site.

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  3. i don't do counts, other than keeping my own list of sightings here, finally. :) i love your wildflowers!

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    1. I noticed that you keep a list for your place.

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  4. Well I have the pest of a woodpecker drilling holes at my place. Perhaps that is why he has not arrived at yours Red. Honest to goodness. He is drilling for all his friends and even more for his enemies. I put him up on my blog today. Along with my flowers to blooming rather nice after a horrid winter.

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    1. Now is this guy maybe finding lunch between the boards on your house?

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  5. I don't do bird counts, but I sure enjoy watching and photographing them!

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    1. There's always something to do with birds. I certainly appreciate your photos.

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  6. I love the birds and have lots of friends who do the count, but I just cannot identify enough of them to be useful. I'm so glad YOU do it, though. :-)

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    1. I hear people say they aren't up on birds and when I take them out they're better than I am. I'm sure you're the same.

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  7. I don't participate in counts, but it sounds fun! I would have to learn so much before going on one--unfortunately I don't recognize a lot of different kinds. I need to change that. And I do much better with photos of flowers, too! :-)

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    1. A bird book in your pack does the rick . Now we can take the ipad and check with the Cornell site.

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  8. I accompanied a friend doing a count once (thought I'd give it a try to see if I'd be any good) and was in awe of her skills, how quickly she could spot and identify a bird I hadn't even noticed! Decided I didn't know hardly any birds except the most common birds. Well done, it's a good thing to do.

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    1. Some people are amazing in what they recognize.

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  9. I wouldn't have the patience for this but I love hearing about birds and seeing pictures of them. Take care.

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    1. Yesterday I sat on a steam bank and just let the birds fly by.

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  10. Sounds like fun! I don't do counts aside from my own backyard. But I do love to bird watch, and take photographs.

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    1. Usually there's only so much time and we make priorities. So If you don't have time for counts,you don't count. You take awesome bird photos.

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  11. I don't do any count, but I have a life list of birds I have seen in or over or from my own garden.

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    1. I keep the very same list. It's interesting to go back over the list and look for trends.

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  12. I did participate in our garden bird count one year. I enjoyed the flower photos: beautiful and simple.

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    1. Hey, and they're the only blooms I could find at this time of year.

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  13. We have once a year a national count day for birds in your own garden. You have to watch for half an hour and mail the kind and amount of birds you have seen to the Bird Protection Netherlands.

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    1. We have the same thing here but I have never participated in it.

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  14. Neat pictures of the spring flowers. As to bird pics I have the same problem with the little cheap point and shoot camera. Plus the little rascals (warblers) wont sit still....

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    1. They won't sit still and they continue yakking away.

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  15. I've never done counts - although I'm planning to do my first group bird walk sometime this summer. I'm really looking forward to that! I love your wildflowers- they're late, here, also.

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    1. Group bird walks are fun. Go on it and have fun.I used to do a series of six early morning walks. I've been asked to do them again.

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  16. I've never done counts. I do count lots of things and track weather, rainfall, etc.!

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