Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Project FeederWatch – Month 1

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

I learned so much about my backyard and its avian visitors last year that I decided to participate in Project FeederWatch again. Plus, it’s good to be a part of this citizen science project sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Unlike last year, I won’t be posting my weekly counts here. Instead, I’ll do updates monthly or so.

I started counting for this feeder watch season on the weekend of November 14th. Most of the usual suspects have checked in, though I haven’t seen any Northern Cardinals or Mourning Doves yet.

American Goldfinch hasn’t stopped by either, though they didn’t show until January last time. The Lesser Goldfinches have grown scarce since I moved the feeder. I guess they don’t approve of the new location, so I’ll probably move it back.

The Chipping Sparrows returned for the winter, right on schedule in early November, and the Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Orange-crowned warbler, the other winter residents, are enjoying the suet feeders.

An accipiter, probably Sharp-shinned Hawk, swooped through the yard too, but not on a count day. I haven’t seen a hawk in the yard since March so I’m assuming it’s one of the migratory sharpies.

Here’s the tally after one month with highest counts in parentheses:

  1. White-winged Dove (23)
  2. Blue Jay (3)
  3. Carolina Chickadee (1)
  4. Black-crested Titmouse (2)
  5. Carolina Wren (2)
  6. Bewick’s Wren (1)
  7. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1)
  8. Northern Mockingbird (1)
  9. Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
  10. Chipping Sparrow (6)
  11. Lesser Goldfinch (4)
  12. House Sparrow (12)
Orange-crowned Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler


  1. Glad you’re Feederwatching again, James. Thanks for this update. I’m jealous of you folks who get warblers in the winter! I’m curious, are the Northern Mockingbirds a year-round resident in TX? I picked up one new species for my counts this weekend: Song Sparrow. They’ll stick around till spring. Still waiting for a few of the other “regulars” to show up though… Happy birding!

    • The only warblers I see in winter are the Orange-crowned and the Yellow-rumped, and only the OCs come to the yard.

      Northern Mockingbird is a permanent resident here. In fact, it’s our state bird. They’re common in our neighborhood, but only seem to come to the yard in winter and spring and then only for the suet feeder.

      Congrats on the song sparrow. I had one come around my yard for a few days last spring.

      Happy birding to you too.

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