Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Great Backyard Bird Count is happening

...now: February 13-16. Check it out and participate if you can. It's free and easy. Just 15 minutes on one or more of the days will do. So grab a coffee and pull a chair up to a window. Or head out to a park or a utility corridor. Whatever. Just identify, count and enter your results.

Today a Grey Jay visited our yard. Nice to see.


It's not the first we've seen this winter, but it's the first of the year for our yard. H took this pic during the Christmas bird count and we see the odd one on the west end of town, but for some reason they haven't been hanging around our yard like they usually do. In past years their visits were so regular you could set your clock by them. I suspect they don't see eye to eye with the magpies. The squirrel and the magpies don't get along either. Mind you, the squirrel doesn't seem to get along with anyone.

11 comments:

tracy said...

One raven, 15 chickadees, 4 nuthatches, and one deer. Wait, deer don't fly do they? I knew there was something in the salad at lunch.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ha! Ok, now go to the site and the submit button is on the top left. It's super slick and easy. Though I dunno what they'll do about your deer. :)

Ian LeTourneau said...

is that a baby grey jay, Brenda?

my experience with magpies is that they don't get along with anyone else. when they hang out, I hardly see any other birds. there used to be a bunch of evening grosbeaks that hung out around our house. I loved to watch them--they are so gregarious. but last summer the magpies seemed to be territorial...

Brenda Schmidt said...

The pic was taken just after Christmas this year. It's a very puffed out, cold adult, but still it was curious as to what we were doing in its neighbourhood.

Ha! Ya, magpies sure have quite the approach to life. They were plentiful in southern SK where I grew up, but only in recent years have they begun to populate this area. For a while we were getting calls from people who didn't know what they were. They are noticeably quieter here on the shield. I suspect the large raven population has something to do with it. And surprisingly enough they seem to get along ok with the other birds feeding here. Mind you, H maintains quite a number of feeders, so there's plenty for everyone.

I love grosbeaks, too. Evening grosbeak populations have declined significantly in recent years. We have a few hanging around, but not many.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Oh, and thanks to you, I just changed my gray to grey. I'm bad at that. My last book had lots of gray before it went grey. :)

Sparverius said...

This was my first year participating in the GBBC. I've always watched birds, but haven't always kept track of what I've seen. I am changing my ways. The more I keep track the more I pay attention to details. Much more enjoyable.

Beautiful image of the Jay.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ya, the GBBC is fun. We do some other surveys and keep track of first arrivals of the year and some last departure dates. And ya, keeping a list does tend to make you look more closely and you do see more as a result. Not only more birds, but more of everything.

Nick S said...

Lovely Brenda. I'm always happy to see these.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Thanks Nick! It's nice of H to let me post this. He posts his macro work on his blog, but not birds or anything else that he takes pics of.

I'm sure you'll see lots of them on your trip this weekend. I love how they communicate with each other as they move along. And how they look in your eye as if they can see exactly what's inside.

Shameless Hussy said...

Great shot, by the way.

Brenda Schmidt said...

It's a beautiful bird, isn't it? So subtle.