Monday, November 1, 2010

Yard Birds

Birdwise, we are on the margin of two seasons- fall migration is trailing off, but there are still plenty of late migrants around, and winter birds are starting to arrive. The combination made for some pretty good birding in my yard yesterday. 

I put up my bird feeders on Saturday, hoping for Purple Finches or siskins. No sign of them yet, but when I was filling one of the feeders I spotted a Hermit Thrush on our neighbors' fence- a yard bird. Two Fish Crows flying over were also nice. 

By Sunday, the feeders were hopping with bird activity, and I counted 13 species there, including Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Cardinal, and Carolina Wren. The majority of the birds were chickadees, with a fair number of titmice and juncos as well. They were quite tame, with one chickadee briefly landing on my finger, and were unconcerned by me taking photos of them. 


At one point, I looked up, and was very surprised to see a group of hawks- 2 Turkey Vultures, 3 Buteos, and an Accipiter. I ran inside to get binoculars, and for the next couple hours did a hawkwatch, tallying 84 raptors. The species counts were:

Turkey Vulture- 20
Red-tailed Hawk- 21
Red-shouldered Hawk- 5
Cooper's Hawk- 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk- 18
Osprey- 3
American Kestrel- 1
Unidentified Raptor- 10
Unidentified Buteo- 2
Unidentified Accipiter- 1

Non-raptor migrants were also present, with a few flocks of Canada Geese, a flock of Brant, and a few dozen Double-crested Cormorants all flying over. 

When a small bird with a forked tail fly by, I thought I might have found a siskin, but when I refound it, I realized it was actually a Golden-crowned Kinglet, another yard bird. 

I saw 34 species of birds from my yard, which proves that to find plenty of birds, all you need to do it fill up a feeder, or just look up!


  1. Those are great pictures of the Chickadee and the Titmouse, It's my favourite bird.

  2. Thanks!

    I saw your blog- that Purple-throated Carib is awesome.

    Eamon Corbett