Monday, February 15, 2010

2010 Great Backyard Bird Count: A Summary

There was snow cover on the ground during the entire period, which kept the feeders very busy.

Sparrows as a group were the most numerous birds, breaking many of my previous all time highs for the yard. I had 15 Eastern Towhees (tie), 38 American Tree Sparrows (record), 35 White-throated Sparrows(record), 8 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 Fox Sparrow, and 8 Song Sparrows (record) *Highest # counted at one time, per the GBBC rules

The new 1 foot of snow on Presidents Day brought in more good birds, including 10 Brown-headed Cowbirds and 1 male Eastern Bluebird. The birds were fighting for the feeders and I even had a male towhee try to stay on the feeder as I was trying to fill it. He made an odd squealing sound as I approached him.

Wasn't able to get all of my expected woodpeckers, but was surprised by a brief sighting of a Red-headed Woodpecker that was down the street (flew over yard, but didn't stop at feeders). Broke my all time high for the yard for Red-bellies (8 at one time).

Somehow I managed to miss my resident Red-shoulder that I had seen the day before the count. I did get feeder raids by both expected accipters though. Also had flyovers of a Red tail, 1 Turkey Vulture and 3 Black Vultures. Was able to call in an Eastern Screech-owl at dusk. The Great-horned was heard calling from the big woods across the street at dusk while filling feeders.

Complete species list for weekend:

Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Eastern Screech-Owl
Great Horned Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
European Starling
Eastern Towhee
American Tree Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

I had 34 species seen or heard in or from my yard for all 4 days combined.


  1. Sharpie pic is of the same bird from an earlier date. Perches in the same spot.

  2. Impressive list of Birds!

  3. are those sparrows? so many of them. I don;t get that many birds at backyard ...that for sure

  4. Mostly sparrows, White-throated and American Tree. You can just barely make out the Fox Sparrow in the pic.

  5. I had to travel to three counties to get 34 species of birds on four different counts. Great job.

  6. Anonymous5:03 PM

    Why do I look at a North American blog? Almost every bird is a "mega" for me!
    Keep up the great work.

    P.S. Sorry about the introduced stuff e.g. Starling etc. ;)

  7. Wow that's quite the list. My highlight was 1 bald eagle flying over my yard.

  8. Wow! That is an impressive number of birds.

  9. How can I attract Pileated Woodpeckers to my yard??

  10. Jill, the best way I have found is to have a dead tree in your yard. I have even heard of people using rotten logs to attract them with success. Some people are able to attract them with suet, but I have not been able to. They come to a dead stump in the yard. I have heard that Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® from Wild Birds Unlimited© is good at attracting them. I have never tried it.

    P.S. - I have NO ties (financial,perks, etc.) to WBU whatsoever!