Great Backyard Bird Count

Posted: February 13th, 2009 under Activities, Wildlife.
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The annual GBBC sponsored by Cornell University and the Audubon Society is our big bird census activity of the year.    Usually I spent 1-2 hours in each of four sites on the land, but this year (since I’m under orders not to overdo as I recover from pneumonia)  today’s observations at least will all be literally “yard” ones.   So far that’s only eleven species….but my “special bird” in the year, the female Pyrrhuloxia, is still here.   (Usually I see a really interesting bird the day before the count starts, and then not again until afterwards.)

Anyone who’s never participated should consider doing so…it’s fun and it contributes useful information on bird distribution in winter.   There are maps, updated constantly, showing where observations have come from.


  • Comment by elizabeth — February 14, 2009 @ 5:58 pm


    Day two of the GBBC. Since I’m not supposed to go out and wander around much, I’m peering out windows, esp. the one in my study where I have feeding areas set up for easy viewing.

    Fifteen species yesterday, including the Pyrrhuloxia. Fifteen today, too, but different in that if the Carolina chickadee showed up I didn’t see it, and a Red-bellied Woodpecker male came down to feed when I happened to be watching.

    It was colder and heavily cloudy; there were many more birds, though not many more species.

  • Comment by elizabeth — February 15, 2009 @ 9:01 am


    Saturday ended up with 16 species, and today the sky’s cleared. Will try to get out on the land finally.

    The cold cloudy weather brought in flocks of American goldfinches, brown-headed cowbirds, and white-winged doves.

  • Comment by elizabeth — February 17, 2009 @ 3:56 pm


    Sunday’s trek out to Fox Pavilion (as far as I could make it thanks to post-pneumonia energy drain) netted me a pair of bush-tits, some turkey vultures, and a lot of birds that wouldn’t come out in the open to be seen. However, heard both Carolina chickadees and black-crested titmice, and both wrens (Bewick’s and Carolina), had a quick glimpse (and more hearing) of cedar waxwings, heard both kinds of goldfinches, and spotted a meadowlark (which one I don’t know) in the near meadow on teh way back. No savannah or song sparrows, kind of a surprise.

    Monday, dank, dripping, and chilly, I didn’t go out on the land. Did get some starlings and pine siskins in addition to the backyard birds seen Friday and Saturday.

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