Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Tag: project feederwatch (page 1 of 3)

The Usual Suspects

Lesser goldfinch

Most all of the usual suspects have checked in for this year’s Project FeederWatch. The orange-crowned warbler and ruby-crowned kinglet came back to the suet feeders last weekend, and the goldfinches finally returned as well.

The lesser goldfinches are year-round residents, but they typically leave the feeders in October and return late in November or early December. This year it was late December before one came around. Especially exciting, though, was the fact that a few American goldfinches also came by. I saw them regularly during the 2008-2009 Feederwatch season, but last year I only saw one, and he came very late in the season. Hopefully, the ones I saw will tell their friends, and I’ll see them fairly regularly over the next few months.

The only species I haven’t seen yet are Bewick’s wren and northern cardinal. The Bewick’s wren is around. I see them several times a week, but I have yet to see one on Saturday or Sunday, which are my official count days. Perhaps they like to take the weekends off. I know I do. As for the cardinals, I’m not surprised that I haven’t seen any since summer. Some winters they’re around the feeders, and some winters they aren’t. If I don’t see any, I’m sure they’ll show up come spring. Down here, that means next month.

Here’s what I’ve counted. The numbers in parentheses are the highest single count for that species:

  1. White-winged Dove (24)
  2. Mourning Dove (1)
  3. Blue Jay (3)
  4. Carolina Chickadee (1)
  5. Black-crested Titmouse (3)
  6. Carolina Wren (2)
  7. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1)
  8. Northern Mockingbird (1)
  9. Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
  10. Chipping Sparrow (23)
  11. House Finch (1)
  12. Lesser Goldfinch (1)
  13. American Goldfinch (2)
  14. House Sparrow (12)

I don’t think it’s too late to get involved with Project FeederWatch, which is good because citizen science projects rock.

Return of the Chipping Sparrows

The return of the chipping sparrows is the first real sign that autumn is coming to central Texas. We know it’s here, has been for a month, and the occasional flirtatious cold front suggests that winter might make an appearance, but the chipping sparrows come about the time the leaves begin to fall from the cedar elm out back.

They’ll be regulars at the feeder the next few months, poking for the small seeds the white-winged doves and house sparrows aren’t interested in. They’re less skittish than those two year-round species as well. When I open the back door, the house sparrows and doves fly off immediately, but the chippers stay put as if to say, “Dude, what’s the deal? That’s the ape that brings the food.”

Through the winter I’ll usually see a dozen or so in the mornings and evenings, but come late March just before they fly north, I’ll see massive flocks in the backyard. Seventy or more birds poking around in the grass and to a colorblind guy like me who has trouble seeing brown birds in green grass, it seems the very lawn is writhing and wiggling awake after the winter. Then, one day, they will be gone and summer will be just around the corner.

I started my Project FeederWatch counts last weekend. Here’s who showed up for the first count. Mostly, the usual suspects:

  1. Chipping Sparrow: 4
  2. Black-crested Titmouse: 3
  3. Carolina Wren: 1
  4. Carolina Chickadee: 1
  5. House Sparrow: 8
  6. Blue Jay: 2
  7. White-winged Dove: 17

The only no-show was the Bewick’s wren, which I see pretty regularly, though I didn’t see one on my official count day.

Counts

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

A Ladder-backed Woodpecker, which did not show up in these counts

Since finishing my small year, I’ve enjoyed going back to not counting birds quite so much. I’m still participating in Project FeederWatch and I did the Great Backyard Bird Count the weekend before last, but it’s good to just enjoy the birds for what they are instead of as checks on a list.

Still, I do like participating in these citizen science projects and so I’m list blogging, which seems hardly worthy of the Kreativ Blogger Award kindly bestowed on my by Angie at woman, ask the question.

For the GBBC, I counted along the pond trail after work on Friday and then stuck with my backyard on Saturday and Sunday, which are my Project FeederWatch count days anyway. I didn’t do a GBBC count on Monday.

This year’s count yielded no surprises. I haven’t seen anything new in the neighborhood or in my yard this year, and I haven’t seen any American Goldfinches. Maybe the Lesser Goldfinches have claimed the yard, but last year I regularly saw both species.

And here are the counts. The numbers in parentheses indicate the greatest number of individuals seen at one time…

GBBC Day 1 (2.12.10): Pond Trail:

  1. White-winged Dove (4)
  2. Northern Mockingbird (1)
  3. Carolina Wren (1)
  4. Eastern Phoebe (1)
  5. American Crow (4)
  6. American Coot (1)
  7. Ring-necked Duck (3)
  8. Gadwall (30)
  9. American Widgeon (9)
  10. Pied-billed Grebe (1)
  11. Yellow-rumped Warbler (1)
  12. Blue-winged Teal (3)

GBBC Day 2 (2.13.10): Backyard:

  1. Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
  2. Chipping Sparrow (13)
  3. House Sparrow (3)
  4. Carolina Wren (2)
  5. Bewick’s Wren (1)
  6. White-winged Dove (10)
  7. Lesser Goldfinch (3)
  8. Blue Jay (1)

GBBC Day 3 (2.14.10): Backyard:

  1. Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
  2. Blue Jay (2)
  3. Northern Mockingbird (1)
  4. Mourning Dove (1)
  5. White-winged Dove (9)
  6. Carolina Wren (2)
  7. Lesser Goldfinch (5)
  8. Chipping Sparrow (23)
  9. House Sparrow (1)

Project FeederWatch – Month 3 (a running total):

  1. White-winged Dove (23)
  2. Mourning Dove (1)
  3. Blue Jay (3)
  4. Carolina Chickadee (2)
  5. Black-crested Titmouse (2)
  6. Carolina Wren (2)
  7. Bewick’s Wren (1)
  8. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1)
  9. Northern Mockingbird (1)
  10. European Starling (1)
  11. Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
  12. Chipping Sparrow (24)
  13. Northern Cardinal (1)
  14. HOuse Finch (2)
  15. Lesser Goldfinch (7)
  16. House Sparrow (17)

Be sure to check out the latest edition of I and the Bird (#119) hosted at Somewhere in NJ, which includes my poem “Hummingbird Heading Out to Sea.”

Project FeederWatch – Month 2

Carolina Wren waits for breakfast

 

The above recording is a Carolina Wren followed by a response from a Black-crested Titmouse. The wren follows and then they sing together after which the titmouse gets in the last word. I recorded it on my iphone so it’s nothing fancy and doesn’t sound professional by any means. I edited it down from 55 seconds to cut the dead space between songs.

I’ve been trying to record some of the backyard bird sounds hoping this will help me learn their songs over time in much the same way that photographing them has helped me learn their names.

Project FeederWatch contines. Last month, I noted I hadn’t seen any cardinals or Mourning Doves since the count period began, but in the past month both birds have checked in. I also had a European Starling visit the back porch to investigate one of the feeders. They’re common here, but I rarely see them in the yard. Last year, I only had them show up once. Three came by for a swim in the birdbath.

American Goldfinches are the only birds from last year that haven’t come around. I’ve talked to a few people around here who say they haven’t seen many this year either.

Here’s the current tally with the highest number of individuals in parentheses.

  1. White-winged Dove (23)
  2. Mourning Dove (1)
  3. Blue Jay (3)
  4. Carolina Chickadee (2)
  5. Black-crested Titmouse (2)
  6. Carolina Wren (2)
  7. Bewick’s Wren (1)
  8. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1)
  9. Northern Mockingbird (1)
  10. European Starling (1)
  11. Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
  12. Chipping Sparrow (15)
  13. Northern Cardinal (1)
  14. Lesser Goldfinch (5)
  15. House Sparrow (17)

Here’s a picture of a Black-crested Titmouse leaving the feeder. It’s not a good picture, but I like the motion.

A Black-crested Titmouse takes flight

Update: This post was included in I and the Bird #117 at the Marvelous in nature. This week’s host, Seabrooke Leckie, actually drew all of the featured birds including my wren and titmouse singing it out and linked to all the posts from her drawing. It’s awesome. Check it out.

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

What I Learned about My Backyard from Project FeederWatch

A Common Grackle looks around the yard

A Common Grackle looks around the yard

Project FeederWatch ended last weekend. For those just tuning in, PFW is a citizen science project run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The idea is that you commit to keeping a record of all the birds that visit your feeders, birdbaths, birdhouses, and landscape features from November to April. In addition to being a part of something that helps scientists learn about and help birds, participants have the opportunity to learn a surprising amount about what goes on right outside their doors.

This is a summary of some interesting things I learned.

Observations about Specific Birds:

Wrens:

A Bewick's Wren stops by for a snack

A Bewick's Wren stops by for a snack

We get both Carolina and Bewick’s Wrens at our house. They both like suet and mealworms, but the Carolina Wrens will also take seeds from the cake feeders. Carolina Wrens also seem to be more willing to poke around the ground in the flowerbed, while Bewick’s Wrens prefer scouring the trees and plants for bugs. Carolinas also seems to be much more vocal; every morning, I can expect one singing (surprisingly loud) from the fence.

Hawks:

Accipiter hawk relaxing on the neighbor's fence

Accipiter hawk relaxing on the neighbor's fence

On several occasions, on count days and non-count days, I saw unidentifiable accipiter hawks swooping through the yard. On one occasion, I got some pictures of one sitting by the neighbor’s feeder and on another day, I saw one sitting by my feeder. I never got a good enough look to ID any of the ones I saw on count days, but readers of this blog thought the one I photographed was a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

I assume he’s been eating sparrows since those are the only birds whose counts have been lower than I expected them to be. The wrens, titmice, chickadees, and finches all seem to show up in basically the same numbers each week so I suspect they’re avoiding the hawks.

Goldfinches:

Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinch

I was thrilled to see goldfinches show up in my yard at long last. I have my sister to thank. She got me some nyjer bags for Christmas, and the goldfinches arrived withing days of putting them out.

Lesser Goldfinches will only take nyjer seed from the bags, while American Goldfinches who seem to prefer the nyjer bags, will use the tube feeder when the bags are crowded.

American Goldfinch in winter non-gold plumage

American Goldfinch in winter non-gold plumage

I had hoped to see the American Goldfinches in breeding plumage, but they seem to have mostly left, although I did see one this weekend in transitional plumage. I hope he sticks around so I can see him in his full golden glory.

Blue Jays:

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Through most of the winter, the Blue jays came around only for the peanuts. As things warmed up, and nesting season began, they started taking suet again, which they didn’t touch during winter, ceding it instead to the wrens, titmice, kinglets, warblers, and mockingbirds. They also come around more and more for the regular seeds, but the peanuts are still the favorite.

Cardinals:

(no pictures. try back next year)

During the fall and winter, the cardinals only come around in the very early hours before dawn and the dusky hour between sunset and dark. During spring and summer they come around the feeders at all times of the day.

Doves:

One Mourning Dove and two White-winged Doves

One Mourning Dove and two White-winged Doves

White-winged Doves are the most prevalent and obvious birds at our platform feeder during spring and summer, but through fall and winter, there are substantially fewer and the Mourning Doves come around a bit more frequently.

Mockingbirds:

A Northern Mockingbird eyes the suet feeder

A Northern Mockingbird eyes the suet feeder

The mockingbirds come regularly for suet in the winter, but lose all interest in it when it gets warmer out. There is a pair nesting in the neighbor’s cedar tree, but their only interest in my yard now is the birdbath.

Titmice:

Black-crested Titmouse on the pinecone feeder

Black-crested Titmouse on the pinecone feeder

The Black-crested Titmice are almost always the first ones to check out a new feeder, and often the first ones to the worms in the morning, thus earning them the nickname Pigmice. They’re still my favorites, though.

Every morning in winter, one or two would burst from the wren box and start scolding me from a nearby tree until I had the worms out. Now that it’s warmer, they’ve left the box for the wrens and are nesting elsewhere, but they’re still first in line at the worm feeder most mornings.

And, now, some lists…

The Visitors:

The numbers are the highest numbers of individuals seen at one time.

  1. White-winged Dove (25)
  2. Chipping Sparrow (24)
  3. House Sparrow (20)
  4. American Goldfinch (8)
  5. Common Grackle (8)
  6. House Finch (5)
  7. Northern Mockingbird (4)
  8. Brown-headed Cowbird (4)
  9. Black-crested Titmouse (3)
  10. Mourning Dove (3)
  11. Carolina Chickadee (3)
  12. European Starling (3)
  13. Blue Jay (3)
  14. Lesser Goldfinch (3)
  15. Bewick’s Wren (2)
  16. Carolina Wren (2)
  17. Northern Cardinal (2)
  18. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (2)
  19. Red-bellied Woodpecker (2)
  20. Black-chinned Hummingbird (2)
  21. Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
  22. Ladder-backed Woodpecker (1)
  23. Accipiter sp. (1)
  24. American Robin (1)
  25. Red-winged Blackbird (1)
  26. Song Sparrow (1)

The Permanent Collection:

These are the birds that appeared in all 20 counts.

  • White-winged Dove
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Black-crested Titmouse
  • Carolina Wren
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Chipping Sparrow

All of these are permanent residents except the Chipping Sparrows. They will depart for points north in the next week or so, and return in October. If past years are any guide, we will see flocks of 60-70 in the yard for a day or 2 and then they will be gone.

House Sparrow only missed one week (Dec 27), which was incidentally, the first time I saw an accipiter hawk. Smart sparrows.

Passing Through:

Birds that came for a distinct span of time and then left.

  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1.3.09 – 2.7.09)
  • American Robin (2.28.09 – 3.14.09)
  • Orange-crowned Warbler (1.3.09 – 3.14.09)
  • Red-winged Blackbird (3.7.09 – 3.14.09)

I’ll be curious to see if these species come around these times next year.

Sometimes Birds:

Birds that are here year-round. They don’t come by the yard very often, but were kind enough to stop by on at least one count day.

  • Accipiter sp (Sharp-shinned or Cooper’s Hawk)
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • European Starling

Spring/Summer Birds:

These are the birds that hang around the yard only during spring and summer along with their arrival dates.

  • American Robin (2.21)
  • Common Grackle (3.07)
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird (3.21)

Biggest Flocks:

These are the largest groups of individuals seen at one time.

  • White-winged Dove (25 on 3.14.09)
  • Chipping Sparrow (24 on 1.17.09)
  • House Sparrow (20 on 12.06.08)
  • American Goldfinch (8 on 02.21.09)
  • Common Grackle (8 on 03.07.09 & 03.21.09)

Life Birds:

A Ruby-crowned Kinglet considers the suet feeder

A Ruby-crowned Kinglet considers the suet feeder

These are the birds I had never seen and saw for the first time as a result of paying closer attention to the feeders.

  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Accipter sp. (probably Sharp-shinned Hawk)

Non-avian Feeder Visitors:

A possum visits the bird feeder

A possum visits the bird feeder

Fox Squirrel

Fox Squirrel

  • Fox Squirrel
  • Virginia Opossum

Project FeederWatch was a fun and eye-opening experience. I intend to continue counting birds and uploading my counts to ebird for the rest of 2009, and I will definitely be participating again next year.

Project FeederWatch Week 20

A possum visits the bird feeder

A possum visits the bird feeder

Sometimes the most interesting visitors come by night. I usually bring the feeder in after dark, but some nights the possum beats me to it. Phoebe discovered him up there and despite her best efforts throwing herself into the air, she couldn’t get him so no possum stew for the pups.

This was the last week of counting for Project FeederWatch, and the hummingbirds finally showed up. When I looked out the window on Saturday morning a very fluffy looking Black-chinned Hummingbird was huddled on one of the hanging flowerpots near the hummingbird feeder. He occasionally would drink and then go back to perch. When the sun finally came up, he buzzed over to a tree and watched the feeder, diligently chasing away any other hummer that happened to come near.

Here’s my last count for the 2008-2009 FeederWatch Season:

  1. White-winged Dove (12)
  2. Mourning Dove (1)
  3. Black-chinned Hummingbird (2)
  4. Blue Jay (1)
  5. Carolina Chickadee (1)
  6. Black-crested Titmouse (1)
  7. Carolina Wren (1)
  8. Bewick’s Wren (2)
  9. Northern Mockingbird (1)
  10. Chipping Sparrow (5)
  11. Northern Cardinal (1)
  12. Common Grackle (5)
  13. House Finch (4)
  14. Lesser Goldfinch (3)
  15. House Sparrow (4)

Tomorrow, I’ll do a post about what I learned about my backyard from participating in Project FeederWatch.

Project FeederWatch Week 19

This was a busy week for the birds. At 19 species, this week had the most diversity and even included a lifer: the Brown-headed Cowbird, my 100th life bird. The cowbirds came in a small mixed flock of icterids that included a few grackles and a Red-winged Blackbird.

The Song Sparrow is also new to both yard and life list. I saw my first ones last Wednesday at the pond down the street. I guess one of them decided to come check out my feeders.

Other than that, it was mostly the usual suspects, though the Orange-crowned Warbler didn’t turn up. Perhaps he has headed north.

Still no hummingbirds. The black chins arrived on the 16th last year and on the 17th in 2007. I suspect the drought and resulting lack of wildflowers has them going elsewhere.

The Official Project FeederWatch Count for Week 19:

  1. White-winged Dove (12)
  2. Mourning Dove (2)
  3. Ladder-backed Woodpecker (1)
  4. Blue Jay (2)
  5. Carolina Chickadee (1)
  6. Black-crested Titmouse (2)
  7. Carolina Wren (2)
  8. Bewick’s Wren (1)
  9. Northern Mockingbird (1)
  10. Chipping Sparrow (3)
  11. Song Sparrow (1)
  12. Northern Cardinal (2)
  13. Red-winged Blackbird (1)
  14. Common Grackle (8)
  15. Brown-headed Cowbird (4)
  16. House Finch (5)
  17. Lesser Goldfinch (1)
  18. American Goldfinch (1)
  19. House Sparrow (10)

Project FeederWatch Week 18

The highlight for Week 18 of Project FeederWatch was a Red-winged Blackbird at the tube feeder. This was only the second time I’ve seen one in the yard (the other time was June 12, 2007). I watched him for a few minutes, but he flew away before I could get my camera out.

The White-winged Doves took the lead this week for “greatest number of individuals observed.” During the summer months, we see more of them than anything else.

It was a mostly dark and gray weekend, so no pictures. Just the list, which includes most of the usual suspects:

  1. White-winged Dove (25)
  2. Mourning Dove (1)
  3. Blue Jay (3)
  4. Carolina Chickadee (2)
  5. Black-crested Titmouse (2)
  6. Carolina Wren (2)
  7. Bewick’s Wren (1)
  8. Northern Mockingbird (4)
  9. Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
  10. Chipping Sparrow (8)
  11. Northern Cardinal (1)
  12. Red-winged Blackbird (1)
  13. Common Grackle (2)
  14. House Finch (2)
  15. Lesser Goldfinch (1)
  16. American Goldfinch (2)
  17. House Sparrow (8)

Project FeederWatch Week 17 (and 16)

A Common Grackle looks around the yard

A Common Grackle looks around the yard

On Sunday morning, I became the only person in Austin, TX to become excited about seeing grackles. That’s because 8 Common Grackles showed up, and while they’re as common as air around here, they rarely come to my yard, and this is the first time they’ve come since I started doing Project FeederWatch.

As if that wasn’t enough. 3 European Starlings, another common local bird but a rarity in my yard, stopped by for a round of vigorous splashing in the backyard birdbath.

This is a happy discovery I’ve made about listing: even if a newly listed bird is extremely common and I’ve seen it a million times in every parking lot in town, getting to add it to my list makes the bird new.

I watched the grackles for a long time, marveling at the dark sheen of their iridescent feathers, their bright laser-intense eyes and their long sharp bills. They are wonderful birds to watch and those shadow-colored birds look so great among all the other avian colors. A backyard needs some black (even if it’s really dark purplish) around the feeders.

A grackle considering his options

A grackle prepares to do his grackle display

Common Grackle doing the grackle display

Common Grackle doing the grackle display

Despite a name that’s fun to say, the grackle gets a bad rap around here. Of, course it’s easy to appreciate them when you don’t have a flock of thousands roosting in your trees, and so, I’m glad they came by, but I hope they don’t bring too many more friends, unless they show up with their Great-tailed kin so I can add another bird to my count.

Last summer, a pair nested in the neighbor’s tree and they brought their fledglings around to our feeders where I got some nice shots of junior begging for and getting a peanut from one of his parents. They also made sure their young knew where to find the birdbaths. Their bathing habits surprised me: they are probably the most frequent bathers of all my backyard birds. Not bad for a bird that many consider filthy.

Other than the grackles and starlings, all of the usual suspects made an appearance. Some quick observations:

  • House Sparrows seem to be coming around a bit more.
  • A wren built a nest in my neighbor’s plant.
  • White-wing Doves are increasing as the weather warms.
  • For the second week in a row, I only saw one each of the American and Lesser Goldfinches, and no goldfinches on Sunday. I wonder if the warm weather and weeds that are sprouting have inspired them to seek wild food, or in the case of the American Goldfinches, head north. I hope not, as I was hoping to see them in their breeding plumage.
  • Still no hummingbirds yet. Probably next weekend.

The Week 17 Count, which has the greatest number of species seen, thus far:

  1. White-winged Dove (12)
  2. Mourning Dove (2)
  3. Blue Jay (2)
  4. Carolina Chickadee (1)
  5. Black-crested Titmouse (2)
  6. Carolina Wren (2)
  7. Bewick’s Wren (2)
  8. American Robin (1)
  9. Northern Mockingbird (1)
  10. European Starling (3)
  11. Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
  12. Chipping Sparrow (8)
  13. Northern Cardinal (2)
  14. Common Grackle (8)
  15. House Finch (2)
  16. Lesser Goldfinch (1)
  17. American Goldfinch (1)
  18. House Sparrow (17)

My count for last weekend was sparse. We were in Houston, and so I only counted for a couple of minutes on Saturday morning and Sunday evening, but here is what I got for Week 16:

  1. White-winged Dove (5)
  2. Mourning Dove (1)
  3. Blue Jay (1)
  4. Carolina Chickadee (2)
  5. Black-crested Titmouse (2)
  6. Carolina Wren (1)
  7. Bewick’s Wren (2)
  8. American Robin  (1)
  9. Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
  10. Chipping Sparrow   (5)
  11. Northern Cardinal (2)
  12. House Finch (1)
  13. Lesser Goldfinch (1)
  14. American Goldfinch (1)
  15. House Sparrow (7)

Grackle on the Feeder 2

If you’ve never watched a grackle through a good pair of binoculars, give it a go. They’re really quite exquisite birds.

Mike at 10000 Birds has a nice post celebrating grackles today. It seems that this weekend he also saw his first Common Grackles for the year.

For more on the Common Grackle, have a look at Common Grackle: The Overlooked Blackbird at Tails of Birding and, of course, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds: The Common Grackle.

Or, better yet, go out and find one to study. They’re everywhere.

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