Great Backyard Bird Count

This weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count, an event sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society. Participants are asked to take 15 minutes or more any day from Feb. 12 - 14 and observe what species of birds are in your garden (or whatever location you choose). You submit your report to them online and they use the data to study where the birds are located, migration patterns, etc. It is easy, fun and really only takes a few minutes to submit the report. There is still a day left if you haven't done it yet!

I took about 40 minutes this morning and observed birds from every window in the house and walked around the garden for about 15 minutes. In all, I observed the following birds:

Sparrow (not sure what kind!) - 21
Goldfinch - 12
House Finch - 7
Tufted Titmouse - 4
Dark Eyed Junco - 4
Mourning Dove - 4
Robin - 3
Carolina Chickadee - 2
Mockingbird - 2
Cardinal - 1

That is a total of 60 birds and 10 different species. I also saw a new bird this year, the dark-eyed Junco. Thanks to fellow bloggers, they helped me identify it.

It was a beautiful sunny day for bird watching and a tad warmer. The "S" word is in the forecast for tomorrow!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. A nice selection of backyard birds here Phil. Some people call Juncos "snowbirds" because they migrate south when the snow starts to fly. The are from way up north.

  2. Phillip,

    Are you sure you didn't ID the Song Sparrows incorrectly? Usually at best you see one or two at a time sometimes three. The bird you didn't list could be in much bigger numbers it is the White-throated Sparrow.
    Here is a link to good photos of both sparrows

  3. I love the Junco~~It's been in my garden, too. gail

  4. Randy, I very well may have done that. The sparrows always confuse me, there are so many different ones and they look similar.

  5. I've been jotting them down here, too, but they appear in small numbers - you had a lot!

    The website says Monday is also included so I have a couple more chances. We have many birds in common, Phillip. One seasonal visitor I got to count today was the cedar waxwing. Luckily none of mine were sparrows, because they look awfully alike to me!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. No - anything but the S word. I wish it would all just go away. Or be warm. Then I'd be alright with it. interesting but useless link below:

    I really love garden birds. We had some goods sized trees around my old home. They were always filled with birds and on nice nights I'd leave the bedroom window open and wake up to their songs in the morning. I also liked seeing goldfinches on sunflower heads.

    We also had a small water garden and had several visits from blue herons. Sparrow hawks would also frequented the area and would sit on the deck railing with their prey.

    I didn't realize how many varieties of sparrows there were until recently. I find them difficult to identify as well. I can usually pick up subtle differences but apparently not with sparrows.

    One of the oddest things I've seen is a king fisher. I tend to see them about once a year.

  7. You had a good variety. It's interesting to see that the Juncos aren't common there. They are here year round, and usually lots of them visit together. Sparrows are a hard one for me to id a lot of the time, it seems like their differences are so subtle.

  8. It's funny that you mention te dark-eyed junco. We just saw our first ones yesterday when it snowed really big here in NC :D We had to run to our bird book to identify it. Cute little bird, had a different sort of personality. It sure enjoyed the seed we scattered on top of the snow :D

  9. This is the first year I'm participating too. It's actually easier than I thought. We'll see how it goes logging it in. You saw a lot of birds in your garden. They must be most happy.

  10. Just noticed since the snow storm that the Cedar Waxwings are back eating every Palmetto seed in sight!!!

  11. You have a lot more birds then we do for this time of year.

  12. Nice bird count--I didn't have that much luck here! 24 inches of snow and I only saw about 15 birds.


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