Monday, March 16, 2009

The Joy of Birdwatching

Before winter is officially behind us, I wanted to share our list of feathered friends who frequented our feeders this season.

We participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count back in February. After one of our 15-minute segments of intense watching and counting, I told the kids that we would take a break for lunch. Superman headed up to his bedroom (which looks out onto the backyard) to play while I prepared lunch. A few minutes later he excitedly shouted down to me, "Hey Mom, quick, look out the window - we've got TWO tufted titmouses! Let's add them to our list!"

It does this Mama's heart good to know that my 7-year old boy still gets excited over birds and nature. Just one more reason to homeschool. :)

Here is our list of winter visitors:
(Links are to one of our favorite bird sites, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.)

Northern Cardinal
American Goldfinch
House Finch
Slate-colored Junco
Mourning Dove
Blue Jay
Black-Capped Chickadee
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
American Tree Sparrow
American Robin (These usually disappear for the winter, but this year they chose to stay with us.)
Tufted Titmouse
Common GrackleChipping Sparrow*
Easter Towhee*
White-breasted Nuthatch*

This first little guy created a flurry of excitement, beginning with me and spreading quickly to Daddy and the kids. For the first time in three years we had a brand new visitor to our feeders! We first spotted him one morning after breakfast. When we realized he was somebody different from the usual crowd, we grabbed the binoculars, the Peterson guide, and the camera. After a quick scan of our guide, we identified him as an Eastern Towhee. There turned out to be a pair of them. They weren't regulars, but they did grace us with their presence several times throughout the winter. Whenever they showed up, the kids would call out, "Our visitor's back!"




Downy Woodpecker: We get a kick out of watching these fellows climb up and down our trees.



House Finch: We seem to have a lot more of these now than we have in years past.



After a snow or icestorm the feeders are even more popular than usual, and the customers don't scare away as easily either!



I know it's not a great picture, but a record of vistors to our feeders would not be complete with out one of our many, many squirrels.



Northern Cardinal: We probably had at least three pairs of these this year.



I'm so thankful to the Lord for blessing us with these little winged friends. The joy and excitement we get from watching and learning about them helps to cheer and brighten our winter days.

5 comments:

  1. We have all those birds on your list! I especially love the Towhee because he sings "drink your tea"! I'm watching one in the backyard right now!

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  2. The cardinal is so pretty.
    We have had couples (one male, one female)
    woodpeckers visit our yard...a sure sign of spring. I like how you have kept a list.

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  3. Awesome pictures and A great list of birds!! Thanks for sharing! Be Blessed--Angie in GA

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  4. I'm like a kid in a candy store when i discover a new bird in our yard! I'm happy for our little blog world where others understand our excitement. ;D

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  5. Hey Shannon - Thanks for the link. Email me back - I have a great one to share with you too that we've LOVED!! :)

    Jolanthe

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