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Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:11 PM

Great Backyard Bird Count: Feb. 15-18, 2013

Just a reminder.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up this weekend.


Why count birds?
Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document and understand the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.

The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions, like these:

• How will the weather influence bird populations?

• Where are winter finches and other “irruptive” species that appear in large numbers during some years but not others?

• How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?

• How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?

• What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?

How to participate.



And just think of all the bird photos you can share! They also host a photo contest!


















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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Great Backyard Bird Count: Feb. 15-18, 2013 (Original post)
Solly Mack Feb 2013 OP
NRaleighLiberal Feb 2013 #1
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #2
NRaleighLiberal Feb 2013 #3
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #4
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #5
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #6
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #15
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #16
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #17
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #18
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #20
NRaleighLiberal Feb 2013 #8
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #11
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #7
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #9
NV Whino Feb 2013 #10
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #12
justiceischeap Feb 2013 #13
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #14
justiceischeap Feb 2013 #19

Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:06 PM

1. very nice - and you have a Pine Siskin there as well!

House Finch or Purple Finch? Hard to tell with the color of my laptop....

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:20 PM

2. House Finch.

Thanks!

I've got some other shots of the Pine Siskin - all wet. He's a cutie when wet.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:25 PM

3. We have both Purples and Houses here in the winter - I like the softer colors of the purple finch

better - the House Finches build nests in our front ferns all summer long - and make a racket!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:40 PM

4. We get Purple Finches too. Just not as often.

The House Sparrows are the troublemakers at my feeders. They swarm and make a lot of fuss.

You're lucky. You get to see their summer colors. Come summer a lot of these birds will be elsewhere. Still, summer brings the Indigo Bunting and the Painted Bunting. I can't wait!

I've recently attracted a Cooper's Hawk to my feeders. He's still immature. He has visited everyday for the last 3 days. I spy him sitting on my back fence. I need to be ready for him tomorrow. I won't stop feeding to get rid of him. He's hungry too. I just won't watch. lol

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:48 PM

5. I noticed a house sparrow making trouble for my bluebird pair today

Sometimes they will kick a bluebird out of their nest. I have to destroy their eggs and occassionally cull them to save the habitat for the bluebirds.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:54 PM

6. I would love to have a bluebird pair around the house!

They'll visit but then they go elsewhere. Probably too many other birds around. I keep meal worms out. (in hopes...also for the woodpeckers)

I've got my flower garden ready to go for the spring and I got some new Hummingbird feeders. I love Hummingbirds. My yard is no longer my yard. It belongs to the birds.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:29 AM

15. Bluebirds don't eat seed

The way to get a bluebird pair is to put up a bluebird house. It's a good idea because bluebirds can really only exist because people put up houses for them. They don't have enough tree cavities to nest. If you put one up, make sure it's designed specifically for bluebirds and has thick 3/4" walls. You'll also want to put it as far away from your feeder as you can. I built my own, but you can buy them. They are really great to watch. They will spend all day building their nest inside the box. If you have a birdbath, they will take their fledglings out for a bath in the short window you have before they leave. Last year I got two sets of pairs (or the same pair that came back) to nest. Right now is prime time nesting season for them in North Texas.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:35 AM

16. So I need to get a bird house. I'll look into that. Thanks!

I use meal worms already (woodpeckers) and I have a bird bath.

I'll check online to buy one for blue birds. I'm not that handy cutting wood.


Thank you! I didn't know the house was the key.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:42 AM

17. You can get them from the North American Bluebird Society

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:49 AM

18. Thank you!

I'll add that to my spring-summer yard projects. I'm gearing up now to get my yard ready for the spring-summer seasons.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:46 PM

20. Here's how I did mine

I went to the hardware store and got a 2' and 6' section of rigid steel pipe and a connector to connect the two. I drove the 2' section into the ground just below grade. the 6' section is attached to the bluebird house which I can remove pole and all when it's not nesting season. I just put a cap on the pipe that's in the ground. If you have any problems with ant or snake pests you can grease the pole. The house itself is designed to resist pests like racoons. It's also designed to open up so you can clean out nests between nestings and you can also inspect for the right eggs (bluebird eggs are blue, house sparrow eggs are brown). If I find a clutch of house sparrow eggs I just throw the nest out and keep it cleaned out for the next few days. This usually is enough to discourage the house sparrows, although on rare occasions they are persistent. If you get a pair of bluebirds, they will spend most of their time near the nest. One of them will quite often be perched on my wall, fence, or nearby tree overlooking the nest. So if you can position the nest strategically, you will have a prime spot for bluebird photography.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:19 PM

8. we are really lucky - no pigeons, starlings or house sparrows.

Bluebirds are really common, as are cardinals, and yellow rumped and pine warblers. And of course the usual suspects (chickadees, titmice, carolina wrens, towhees, white throated and chipping and fox sparrows, thrashers, catbirds and mockingbirds and robins - hairy, downy, red bellied woodpeckers). We have pileated woodpeckers in the woods behind our house, but haven't managed to bring it to a feeder.

My favorite is the first sound of the Wood Thrush in the evening in the early summer.....

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:27 PM

11. The Wood Thrush will return here this summer. I agree...great song!

I got into birds because of this group. I learn about a bird when I photograph it. I've found I enjoy just watching them. We get some water fowls up this way. Not too many.

I counted about 40 Cedar Waxwings in a tree yesterday. I was too amazed by their numbers to remember to get a shot.

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Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:16 PM

7. Is that a redpoll there in photo #5

We're still being swarmed with them, so many more than last year. They show up at the feeders just before it gets light and hang around all day. There were probably at least 50 of them, maybe more, this afternoon.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:20 PM

9. Hey! It's a House Finch. No Redpolls here.

They don't travel this far south.

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Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:22 PM

10. Pretty easy right now

A handful of chickadees and nuthatches, a couple of flickers, the usual crested jays and scrub jays, and multi thousands of robins. Oh yeah, and a few dozen of those damned acorn woodpeckers.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:30 PM

12. LOL! The best part is photographing them. :)

Counting them is a public service....taking their photos is fun!

Acorn Woodpeckers are adorable! You must get a photo! (please)

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Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:41 AM

13. Your bird photos rock!

I especially like 1 and 3.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:15 AM

14. I think Inca Doves are pretty. In the first photo they sorta

remind me of a heart. They are a mated pair so that was neat. To me, anyway.

I go out and count for 30 minutes, snapping shots when I can. After I'm finished counting I just sit and take shots. I'm a fan of nature shots. Also, I'm trying to compile a "Birds of...." that I will use in a Shutterfly book as a keepsake of my time living here.

Thanks!

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:53 AM

19. It's cool you have a project like that

I'm trying to think up a project for myself.

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