I should say upfront that I bombed out on the Great American Backyard Bird Count although I'm glad I tried to participate. At the end of this post I identify the birds in this post and have links to information about them.
The host of Nature Notes posted about the GBBC and I was all set to give it a whirl.
All you have to do is observe the birds in your backyard for fifteen minutes for one or all of the days (this year it was February 12 through 15).
You tally the highest number of birds from any species that you site together.
All of the birds in this post were photographed during the three days of the bird count. The snowy shots were all on Saturday and most of the no snow shots were taken on Friday.
There are a number of issues which interfered with my bird count.
The first problem I had was the way the small birds flit in and out so fast it's hard to know how many of any given group there are at any given time.
Another issue I had was that I found myself totally incapable of simply observing and recording the numbers of birds for 15 minutes without photographing them.
The problem with photographing the birds while counting is that so many of the birds are flitting in and out that if I focus long enough to photograph an individual, I miss a lot of the other birds.
The odd part about my obsessive photographing is that I have been a bird watcher a lot longer than I've been interested in continual photography.
The positive part in my attempting to participate in the bird count is that I managed to identify a lot of the birds in my yard.
I counted 45 species that call my garden home pretty much year round.
To get ready for the bird count I made a list from my handy Peterson Field Guide of birds that I see year round as well as ones I mostly see in the warmer months.
I also noticed behavior, such as, mourning doves are perfectly happy to all hang out together in groups of 6 or more but male cardinals don't tend to eat side by side.
More than one female cardinal will sometimes hang out in the same area, at the same time, or that was my observation.
I also noticed that some of the small birds like finches, sparrows, juncos, are fine about all being together but the chicakdees, nuthatches and wrens tend to flit in and out pretty fast (in general the latter 3 types of small birds are very hyper compared to the first three types of small birds).
Following I'll identify the birds in this post and if you click on their name it takes you to the Cornell site with information about them. If there are more than one shot of a species the link goes to the same place. The first photo is an eastern bluebird. The second photo is a red-bellied woodpecker. The third photo is a carolina chickadee. The fourth photo is a junco. The prominent bird in the fifth photo is an American robin and if you look closely there are some mourning doves up there too.The sixth bird is a white-breasted nuthatch. I'm not sure about the seventh bird but I think it's a house finch. The eighth shot has a tufted titmouse and a junco under it. The ninth photo is of a blue jay. The tenth photo is of a house sparrow. The eleventh photo is of a carolina wren. The twelfth photo is of a male cardinal and the thirteenth is a female cardinal. The fourteenth photo is a mourning dove. The fifteenth photo has left to right male house finch, female house finch, sparrow, and junco. The sixteenth photo (above) is a female house finch. The last photo below is a male house finch.
I'm posting early but the post day for the home of Nature notes is Thursday.