Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bird Bonanza

     Yesterday Sept. 21 was a record day for birds in my backyard! I watch birds out of my back windows all year and keep tally of what I see. I usually count 30-35 species a year. It's quite predictable. I can check the calendar and say well, chipping sparrows should be here. Then there are my faithful year round residents who visit my feeders.

      I have also noted in previous posts that the migrating season can get very interesting. Suddenly birds that just go through for migration appear. They make for an interesting and challenging time to watch birds. In the fall migration the birds can look quite different compared to the spring migration when the birds are in breeding plumage.

      So yesterday between 12:45 and 1:15 I had 15 species in my backyard! For me that's a record and the half hour was very exciting.

      So what did I see? Wilson's warbler, Tennessee warbler, orange crowned warbler, yellow rumped warbler, house sparrow, white crowned sparrow, white throated sparrow , chipping sparrow, pine siskin, red breasted nuthatch, black capped chickadee, flicker, downy woodpecker, blue jay and robin.

     So at this time of year I find Sibley's guide to birds very helpful as it illustrates the adult and juvenile colorings. Ordinarily I like birds of Alberta by fisher and Acorn as you only have Alberta birds covered. Lately I've started using on line sources and one I recommend is the Cornell ornithology site. This site will also provide the various calls ans sometimes provide video so that you can see the flight pattern.

     So yesterday for a brief half hour I had a real birding bonanza!