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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A new start

Well I tore myself away from unpacking ridiculous amounts of boxes and took advantage of the nice dry weather to spend some time walking around the golf course that is adjacent to my apartment complex (since my actual yard consists of a balcony...).
Below is my eBird checklist from two hours walking around:

Cackling Goose (Richardson's) 20 (5 in below photo)
Canada Goose 700
American Black Duck 1 (good look and the bird was surprisingly pure)
Mallard 45
Pied-billed Grebe 1

Great Blue Heron 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Killdeer 1
Ring-billed Gull 2
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 28
Great Horned Owl 1 (Flushed out of a large weeping willow and flew across the ponds, probably the biggest surprise of the outing)
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
American Crow 2
Horned Lark 1
Black-capped Chickadee 7
Brown Creeper 3

Winter Wren 1 (my second here in a week, a bird I missed completely at W468...)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 11
Eastern Bluebird 5 (all migrants flying over way up high, call notes giving them away)
American Robin 55
European Starling 40
American Pipit 1 (another flyover given away by the flight call)
Cedar Waxwing 18
Orange-crowned Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 9
Chipping Sparrow 1
Clay-colored Sparrow 1
Field Sparrow 2 (all three spizella was surprising, esp with FISP outnumbering the other two and so few CHSP)
Fox Sparrow (Red) 10
Song Sparrow 14
Lincoln's Sparrow 1
Swamp Sparrow 12
White-throated Sparrow 120
White-crowned Sparrow 15 (really thought I might snag a HASP with the numbers of Zonotrichia around..just scads of white-throats...)
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 25
Northern Cardinal 4
Red-winged Blackbird 10
Common Grackle 6
Purple Finch 5 (2 flyovers and 1 male and two females feeding on buds in the brushy trees with HOFIs and AMGOs)
House Finch 7
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow 10

What you guys want to do about restricting the size I'm able to count as my "yard" is up to you. The wooded habitat is very minimal. There's some goldenrod/brushy stuff that the sparrows and OCWAs are primarily in. Everything else is cattail marsh or large ponds with large snags around them (I've had BCNH on two other visits when we were moving in).
As of right now I'm trying to get as much as I can before these ponds freeze and the birds disappear with the water...


  1. Forgot to mention one of the more interesting mammalian sightings; a Coyote working the edge of the marsh right by an apartment complex... I found their burrow later, a very versatile animal!

  2. OK, I take it back, apparently we are still going to get killed! Who knew. There are 7 species in that list which would be all time life yardbirds for me, most of which I am not going to get here... And this is one day's effort.

    One final issue to clear up here is the area from which Sean must be viewing to count these birds as actualy yard birds. From my perspective, I have a 0.6 acre area from which to work, while Rick has several acres, and Curtis has about 1 acre including the woodlot behind the house. Dave has less than all of us . So, to keep it consistent, how about Sean is allowed to choose 1 acre's worth of land (which must include the actual building in which he lives, and must be square or slightly rectangular at best, as the "viewing spot" from within which all birds must be identifiable (optics or not). Thoughts?

  3. If everyone agrees with my post, then Sean why don't you put together a map with a proposed viewing area meeting my requirements, and we can all agree to it or do something differently.


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