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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My personal CBC

Today was the day that I had planned to do my own unofficial Christmas Bird Count in my neighborhood. As it turned out I proved to be a very inept counter.

First, my day got off to a late start. After several rather hectic days, I slept soundly and long last night and did not set my alarm. The result was that I did not wake until around 9:30, so I missed some of the best hours for bird observations, the early morning hours when birds are active and feeding. Well, never mind. After I did manage to drag myself out of bed, I spent much of the rest of the day watching and counting birds. Here are some of the ones that I saw.

 American Goldfinch perched in the sycamore tree above my head.

A male Northern Cardinal, the iconic Christmas card bird,  fairly glows while sitting in the shrubbery waiting for his turn at the feeder

Meanwhile, his pretty mate feeds on the ground underneath the feeders.

She was joined by a Blue Jay who was checking out the seed selection on the ground. 

Just when I was thinking to myself that I had not seen a White-winged Dove all day, one flew in and perched on the cross-bars of the feeder system. 

At the end of the day, I had counted a paltry 17 species of birds in the yard or flying over it. I know that there are several other species that I could have added had I been a more diligent counter. I should have had at least 25, but here is the list of the ones that I did manage to tally:

Black Vulture (flying over) - 1
Turkey Vulture (flying over) - 2
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Eurasian Collared-dove - 1
White-winged Dove - 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1
Downy Woodpecker - 1
Blue Jay - 1
American Crow (flying over) - 1
Carolina Chickadee - 6
Tufted Titmouse - 1
Carolina Wren - 1
Cedar Waxwing - 10
Pine Warbler - 1
Northern Cardinal - 5
American Goldfinch - 12
House Sparrow - 10+

Others that I know are here but that I didn't see today include: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Phoebe, Red-winged Blackbird, White-throated Sparrow, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Pileated Woodpecker, American Robin, House Finch, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Eastern Bluebird. Most curiously of all, I did not see or hear a Northern Mockingbird all day long! 


  1. I love the picture of the Cardinal. It would make a lovely Christmas card picture. Can't believe you didn't see a single Mockingbird. I spotted a Pine Siskin today and saw a my very first Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2 days ago.

  2. It was shocking not to have seen one of our most ubiquitous of birds, Rambling Wren. I haven't seen one in the yard today either, so they must all be frequenting my neighbors' yards these days.

    Congrats on the kinglet! Wonderful little bird!