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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

First bird of 2013

What was your first bird of this new year? For me, it wasn't "bird" but birds - lots of them.

I stepped out onto my back porch in the early morning of New Year's Day to see a large flock of finches - goldfinches and siskins mixed - feeding at my backyard feeders and on the ground under the feeder. There were more than a hundred of the little birds. As I walked onto the porch, my movement startled them and they flew up into the trees, but as quickly as they left, another flock of similar size that had been waiting in the trees flew down to start feeding. I really couldn't say how many birds there were altogether, but there were easily at least two hundred and probably more than that.

An American Goldfinch waits in a nearby crape myrtle for an open spot at the feeders.

I stood and watched them for a while and imagined that I could see the seed levels going down in the feeders even as I looked! I knew I was soon going to have to replenish those feeders soon.

Today, I went out and refilled the sunflower seed hearts, nyger seeds, and mixed fruit and nuts. The mixed fruit and nuts feeder was empty and the levels of the others had declined drastically in the last few days. The cold weather this week has certainly made the birds hungry.

I don't really set goal numbers for seeing birds during a year. I just hope to see as many as I can. Normally, we start the year by traveling to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge for New Year's Day and that starts my yearly count off with a bang. We postponed the trip this year because of inclement weather. I'm hoping to go  down there on Saturday, weather permitting. Meantime, my bird totals for the year have only included backyard birds, but two of the most interesting of those were the first two species that I saw.

  American Goldfinch and Pine Siskin


  1. I envy you the Siskins, as we haven't had any yet! I guess there's still time, though.

    1. And I envy you your Short-eared Owl sightings! I haven't managed to get out to the prairie to look for them, but I hope to do so soon. Your pictures in your blog today were wonderful! I encourage my readers to visit your blog and see them.

      As for the siskins, they are here in great numbers. Surely some of them will make it to your yard or to the college campus soon.