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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

FeederWatching - Week #11

Wow! My yard is absolutely teeming with birds. It is difficult to get an accurate count of the types of species and of the overall numbers just because of the constant activity. But I did my best in this eleventh week of my observations for Project FeederWatch.

Here's my count for the two day period.

Red-shouldered Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
White-winged Dove - 3
Rufous Hummingbird - 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 1
Downy Woodpecker - 1
Blue Jay - 3
American Crow - 1
Carolina Chickadee - 2
Tufted Titmouse - 3
Carolina Wren - 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1
Eastern Bluebird - 1
American Robin - 2
Northern Mockingbird - 1
Cedar Waxwing - 9
Orange-crowned Warbler - 1
Pine Warbler - 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 5
Chipping Sparrow - 1
Northern Cardinal - 5
Red-winged Blackbird - 14
Brown-headed Cowbird - 24
House Finch - 1
American Goldfinch - 84
House Sparrow - 7 

So, 27 species in all for the period. I feel sure there were some that I missed, and I know my totals for some of the species are off. The American Goldfinches, for example. There were way more than 84 present at one time in the yard, but I couldn't accurately count more than that.

The goldfinches, by the way, have done something that I did not think was possible. They have crowded the House Sparrows away from the feeders! When I see sparrows at the feeders now, there are usually one or two, whereas in the past there might have been twenty. They mostly feed on the ground now, but there, too, they are crowded by the goldfinches which feed...everywhere!

I'm also quite sure there were more Chipping Sparrows and House Finches present than the one that I counted for each species. But the Orange-crowned Warbler continues to show up as a singleton - I've never seen more than one at the feeders this season. It is a very faithful visitor, though. I can just about set my watch by its appearances.

The biggest changes noted this week were the overall increase in numbers and the appearances from members of the blackbird family. Were there some Brewer's Blackbirds among those groups? It's possible but I couldn't confirm it.

As we count down toward the weekend of the Great Backyard Bird Count in mid-February, the numbers of the birds continue to increase. It should be a very interesting count this year. Have you signed up for it yet?


  1. I couldn't accurately count the goldfinches and sparrows in our garden today either. I also saw some birds I couldn't identify. I posted a photo on the WhatBird forum and they were female red winged blackbirds. I had 7 of them. No males in sight.

    1. Yes, the female Red-wingeds do look quite different from the easily identifiable males. I always think of them as something like overgrown sparrows and I find them quite attractive. Most of the Red-wingeds that I've had have been either females or first year males which look somewhat similar to the females although you can usually see the epaulets on their wings. There have been a few adult males with them, too.