Thursday, December 29, 2011

Getting Ready to Count... Birds!

Ye' old cylindrical suet feeder with pepper-enhanced eats for the birds, NOT (hopefully) for the squirrels!
While running errands this morning, I had a sudden hankering to fill up the two bird feeders we have had in our backyard for a number of years now. This is a responsibility I have been slacking in since school began inn September. During the summer, I am much more diligent in keeping them stocked, especially as I spend more time in the backyard and, just by being there, have the opportunity to sit and enjoy watching the birds who will (occasionally) congregate there.

I miss taking the time to sit in the yard and checking out what my aviary neighbors are up to. I'm not very snooty about the types of birds I watch, in fact, if anything, I enjoy watching the standard backyard fair--American Robins, grackles, and Cardinals, (which is not to suggest that my heart does not leap just a little when a Downy woodpecker comes a callin'!) My wife calls me a fan of "ubiquitous birds."

During my short wait in line at the birding supply store, I noticed a flyer (to the left) for the upcoming 15th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count running from February 17 thru 20. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society. Specifically, "it is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event..." Unfortunately, last year I  missed the opportunity to participate, so this year I am planning on submitting my information so that the birds in our yard can be "counted." (Here's to hoping that some birds drop by or better yet, I'm around when they do!)

The process of officially participating is pretty straightforward, you simply need to to register online at The Great Backyard Bird Count website--the challenging part is following through on accurately couting and reporting your findings.

A more traditional cylindrical feeder with even more traditional feed--wild bird style with a pinch of anti-squirrel pepper stuff!

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