PsilocybinPutty insisted on having me introduce myself and the more interesting part of me (my yard), so here goes.
Michelle and I bought a house last year in Cleveland Heights, and moved in at the end of spring migration. The selling point was a wide sunroom with five windows overlooking a small bit of lawn and then our fraction of a larger woods. The woods are surprisingly large given how suburban the location is, but it is a ravine with a small stream that runs year round, and thus it could not be developed. Yard is in yellow:
As you can see below, we are by the best woodlot for a few square miles. It was big enough to host a Wood Thrush and a Great Crested Flycatcher this summer. To the northeast is a golf course that is up for sale, and will either be developed or turned into a park; I am not optimistic (rumors are that it will become a damn Super WalMart!).
The current view out of the sunroom:
The summer view:
A friend bands birds a few miles south of here, and I think they end up in my yard occasionally. I don't know what species of bird this is (a canary?), but it has lovely jewelry.
I set up a water feature last year which was only marginally successful (Swainson's Thrush, Bay-breasted Warbler, in addition to the normal yard birds). I'll be looking to redesign it this year.
And last but not least is Ivor, the hound who patrols the land, ignoring birds and mildly deterring deer. We lost half our tomatoes and most of our peppers last year to the deer, as well as a lot of the ornamental plants. They are the scourge of northern Ohio.
My apologies for spelling everything correctly, using appropriate grammar, and not taunting anyone in this post - it won't happen again. I'll be more distracted as I run up a ginormous warbler list this May, I promise.
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.