2013 and beyond

It's pretty simple: the most birds seen or heard from one's yard during 2013 will be the "winner". Want in? O.k....then do it despite that.

2013 promises to be a lot less mean but still a carbon-free birding competition, even if slightly less exciting than a MEGA x EPIC hybrid.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


147 is the new cumulative total: Red-headed Woodpecker was hanging around the yard for the weekend (117/143). A GBHE fly-over while I was installing a water feature in the back yard brings the year list is 118. Two hen WITU have been visiting the feeders daily this week with 14 youngsters. They come together as a large flock, but the poults are distinctly different ages and stick with their respective moms when they separate. There has been an elusive MERL seen by others attacking birds at the feeders recently. Where it is when I'm around is anyone's guess.

I'll post a description of my yard when time allows. Sufice it to say, its mostly a wild 8 acres.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Sean- you have an actual competition!

Well, what do we have here? Seems Mr. Brigham's totals have pushed the cumulative score to 146, a measly 3 (yes, trois, tres, trifecta) birds shy of Sean's out-of-the-park 149. This did require killing the Oporornis sp. which overlapped Rick's spring MOWA. But Sean, better get rid of that "comfortable" feeling you've had since 1 Jan 2009, b/c it is now a thing of the past.

OK, we suck and it should never take 4 people to equal another's yard list, but it's still fun talking smack...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A NEW YARBIRDER, and fall competition rules.


OK. Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but it corresponds directly to a terrible lack of bird action in the yard.

First things first, I am inviting another member to the 2009 yardbird competition- Rick Brigham, a loyal follower of the blog (our only one?), and somebody who has been keeping track of his yardlist anyway, and is right in the thick of our competition number-wise (I believe he's at 111 for the year, his all-time yardlist, which spans, 4-5 years now, is far ahead of that of Curtis and I). So, assuming there's no resistance to this idea (guys, he WILL help our cumulative total get closer to Sean's!), let's welcome Rick to the fray. I have added him to the spreadsheet and sidebar tallies.

Second, let's start the fall warbler war with the date ranges of 15 July to 1 November (no more shortstopping me Curtis!). As Sean showed, TEWA is already on the move (it is a molt migrant, you know) near Madison WI yesterday. Rick will hit the ground running with the year competition, and be starting from scratch with the fall warbler war. Final question: should we do some kind of "fall list" which includes all species seen after 15 July-31 December? Or is it enough to keep just the full 2009 yardlist?

OK, thoughts?


Fall warbler war - let it begin!

See the wisb post from Andy who lives at roughly the same latitude as Caleb, Curtis, and I:
Bring it on!
Subject: Migrant Tennessee Warbler

From: Andy P
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 07:55:57 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Folks,

While at home yesterday I had my first migrant Tennessee warbler of the fall.
It was a male. Also had 3 Black Terns fly by the house. They are foraging out
on Lower Mud and Waubesa right now.

Andy Paulios
Madison, WI

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sora - not on the radar!

When I got back late from work this evening I paused before heading in since it was dead-calm. A Bull Frog could be clearly heard from the wetland to my west and then as I was about to step inside a Sora called four times from not far away at all! I whistled a response which got me two more calls and I'm almost positive that it was along the stream or small cattail corner of the wet field. This is only the second time I've recorded this species here and my first that wasn't in spring (possible migrant back in the day). Unexpected, but I'll take it (#149). Especially since it's looking like I'll be moving out by mid-October!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Green Heron - talk about overdue by a month!

Well I was out spraying canada thistle and multi-flora rose in the fields this aft and heard a squack of a Green Heron flying over the yard. I suspect that they used to nest in the woods adjacent to my house because they were roosting in those trees every night 4-5 yrs ago... That's why I can't believe it took me this long to finally get it for the yard this year...

State of the yard eh Dave. Not sure you want to see that list.
Wild Turkey
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Blue Jay
American Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Common Yellowthroat
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Ring-necked Pheasant
Great Blue Heron
American Kestrel
Great Horned Owl
Ruby-thted Hummingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Red-eyed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Horned Lark
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Yellow Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Vesper Sparrow
Baltimore Oriole
House Sparrow

Recorded only 3 or less times:
Green Heron
Cooper's Hawk
Rock Pigeon
Eastern Screech Owl