Sunday, November 13, 2011

Project FeederWatch

This was the kickoff weekend for the 2011-2012 Project FeederWatch season. Project FeederWatch is a citizen science project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada that invites people to track the birds that visit their feeders from November to April (the nonbreeding season). Over a two-day period each week, you watch when you can and note the species seen, as well as the largest number of each species seen at once. It's not too late to sign up -- last year we didn't get going until at least January. I'm excited to track our visitors for the whole period this time.

Blue jay at wreath feeder
(photo taken last summer)
Having been hit by a bad cold at the end of the week, it was a perfect weekend to spend a lot of time in a living room chair with a book, looking out frequently between nose-blows to see if there was any action at the feeders. Yesterday was fairly quiet, but today we put out some additional food and we had a lot of visitors, by our standards:
  • American Goldfinch (3)
  • Black-capped Chickadee (3)
  • Blue Jay (4)
  • Dark-eyed Junco (5)
  • Downy Woodpecker (1)
  • House Finch (8)
  • Northern Cardinal (1)
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker (1)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch (1)
Red-bellied woodpecker
(photo taken last winter)
The blue jays put on a lovely show for us when I put out some whole (in-shell) peanuts for them. They cleaned out the four or five handfuls of peanuts in a couple of hours. We've learned not to fill our wreath-style peanut feeder, because they'll polish off the lot in less than a day, so we only fill it about a quarter full at a time, typically. 

The red-bellied woodpecker was an unexpected treat for the start of the season. I've written in the past about not seeing them often, and mainly in deep cold spells, though we did start to see one a bit more often last year.

1 comment:

Sissy said...

So jealous of your various birds! We only get crows and hawks with the occasional finch and eagle. Must admit I don't really pay much attention until the colder months!