Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Blue Canaries and Such...

indigo bunting or "blue canary"
This week I'm wrapping up with a bow, my Feederwatch season.  It's my small way of giving back, playing citizen scientist and counting birds over a two day period over a few months.  I actually love the pause from the shop; after hearing people chatter all day -- to hear birds is heavenly!  Scientist actually use the data to see migration trends, check bird diseases, and see if any birds pop up in odd places.
black chinned hummingbird
This is my third season, and each year I reflect and think what can I do to attract more birds.  We attempted to lure a winter hummingbird this year by maintaining our feeders all through winter.  It worked in a big way with a black chinned hummingbird that established "site fidelity" -- don't you love that phrase; he stayed from late October thru the end of March until the ruby throated hummingbirds moved into our yard.
We also added more nest boxes and birdhouses; so far we have chickadees and wrens in two houses with hatched chicks, a nest of red bellied woodpeckers in a dead tree, and two possible residents, blue birds and *fingers crossed* a prothonotary warbler.
Some yard firsts this season (in addition to our black chinned hummingbird), an immature white crowned sparrow that is still with us and lords over a family of white throated sparrows.  A hermit thrush (I also saw one in Florida back in January too) and an orchard oriole.

So here are my stats for the 2015-2016 season:
  • I counted for 21 weeks
  • 36 species were recorded
  • 5 rare sightings of birds either not suppose to be here or out of season
Birding has become such an inspiration to my life and work at the shop, even though Feederwatch is for science, I find I get so much from it.

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