Monday, March 16, 2009

It's Been a Year!

I recently realized I've been actively bird watching for a year now...and blogging about it for just as long. I've 160 posts and sixty birds actually seen in my yard! I have to say, however...I look forward to seeing a few only pure laziness must prevent me from noticing. They are here and there is no reason I've not noticed a Brown Creeper, Bushtits, Catbirds, Thrashers, and more wrens, warblers and sparrows. I'm getting better; I'll find em!

I've also been working on my yard and have continued the turf-wars. I'm committed to removing large swaths of lawn and planting much less water-needy native shrubs and trees that will also feed birds, bees and butterflies...not to mention attract benificial insects. I'm also more than a little aware native plants take less care in general...and that saves both my time and my back. LOL

Once, I created a bit of a hubbub by posting a photograph of what appeared to be a female Caliope early May. That raised some 'rare' bird alert; apparently they just don't show up that part of the year!

I've had bigger birds visit too; Wild Turkey, Great Horned Owls, Red-tailed Hawks and for a few days Turkey Vultures roosted in my front yard. They didn't like me wandering around pointing a camera at them, however...and moved down the street
(I'm happy to say.)

I've had a few interesting fly-overs, not the least of which were Sandhill Cranes. I heard them before I saw them and recognizing their chatter when I finally looked straight up. They were flying quite high, which says something to that chatter; I'd not have noticed them except for recognizing their voice. I saw several; in a large check-mark in the sky. It was thrilling.

At any rate, I thought I'd finally post my complete list (so far) of Yard-birds:
  1. Wild Turkey
  2. Cooper’s Hawk
  3. Red-tailed Hawk
  4. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  5. Swansion’s Hawk
  6. Great Horned Owl
  7. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  8. Rock Pigeon
  9. Mourning Dove
  10. White-winged Dove
  11. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  12. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  13. Calliope Hummingbird
  14. Rufous Hummingbird
  15. Downy Woodpecker
  16. Hairy Woodpecker
  17. Northern Flicker
  18. Black Phoebe
  19. Western Wood-Pewee
  20. Blue Jay
  21. Steller’s Jay
  22. Black-billed Magpie
  23. American Crow
  24. Common Raven
  25. Black-capped Chickadee
  26. Mountain Chickadee
  27. White-breasted Nuthatch
  28. Bewick’s Wren
  29. American Robin
  30. Hermit Thrush
  31. European Starling
  32. House Sparrow
  33. American Redstart
  34. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  35. Yellow Warbler
  36. Song Sparrow
  37. White-crowned Sparrow
  38. White-throated Sparrow
  39. White-throated Sparrow – tan
  40. Dark-eyed Junco (all five)
  41. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  42. Black-headed Grosbeak
  43. Lazuli Bunting
  44. Red-winged Blackbird
  45. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  46. Brewer’s Blackbird *
  47. Common Grackle
  48. Great-tailed Grackle
  49. Brown-headed Cowbird
  50. Bullock’s Oriole
  51. Western Tanager
  52. Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
  53. Black Rosy-Finch
  54. Brown-capped Rosy-Finch
  55. Purple Finch
  56. Cassin’s Finch
  57. Evening Grosbeak
  58. Pine Siskin
  59. Lesser Goldfinch
  60. American Goldfinch

  61. Black-crowned Night-Heron
  62. Sandhill Crane
  63. Canada Goose
  64. Geese (species)
  65. Ducks (species)
  66. Gulls (species)
  67. Swift (species)
  68. Bats (species)...oh, sorry

* = ID not confirmed
Italics = Flyovers


Bosque Bill said...

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!... and many more.

Beverly said...

Awwwwww, thanks Bill!

It was the return of the Yellow-headed Blackbird that made me realize it's been a full year, now.

This morning, I was graced with a beautiful Red-tailed Hawk sitting quietly, high in a tree overlooking the feeders. I can always count on finding a raptor of some sort...when the songbirds are late to breakfast. LOL

Good to 'see' you... and thanks!

Debbie said...

Beverly, I've been a bit delinquent here. I'm envious of what you've seen in the last year. I've learned a lot from your blog too. I've been watching the birds since late September/October of last year. I just love it.

It seems to me that some of the Red Crossbills are a little brighter now. I've got Rosy Finches every day now -- I figure they are going higher as the weather gets warmer. I've got all three races, but only have seen one of the Black Rosy Finch. I thought I heard a robin yesterday, but didn't see it.

I've thrown out nesting material into the trees and have a box set up on my window, but no takers so far. Have you started putting fruit and grape jelly out yet?

Beverly said...

Debbie, so I’ve got a couple different seasons on you…that would be a big part of why I’ve seen more species than you have (so far). Plus, I live on ground level and have several many feeders…another advantage: I see birds that feed on the ground, as well as at feeders.

However, I’ve yet to see a Crossbill in my yard; though they are around. And I only see Rosy Finches when it snows and we haven’t had snow for over a month! This drought is really, really bad!

Having said that…robins are thick here. LOL Oh, and I’ve been watching the *&%$#! Starlings collect nesting material for a nests; ugh. Birds apparently like the dead grasses from last year, which I leave around the parameters, as well as the hair from my big ol’ dog.

I have been reluctant to put out nesting boxes, as there are at least a dozen squirrels that frequent my yard. I’ve actually counted nine at once feeding under the birdfeeders and several times I’ve caught them IN the feeders. [sigh] I need to get some sort of extender for some of the poles, as the damn things can jump right up onto the larger (longer) feeders that hang from a 5’ pole.

Funny you mention fruit and grape jelly…I’ve been planning both, as well as food for hummingbirds: did you see they’re already in Monument? Last year I had one in early May and it caused quite an uproar for ‘early’. Go figure, but with this weather they might be even earlier.

Anyway…good idea about the fruit and jelly. You know, Connie Kogler (Birds o’ the Morning (see my sidebar)) had a rare bird spend part of the winter with her…because she always keeps fruit and jelly out!

Oh, and I’ve got to get some mealworms, too.