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.

Monday, July 9, 2012

water feature part deux

Those of you who have been members of the blog (or at least checking it) since its inception in 2009 will remember the success I had with a water feature during fall migration in attracting large #s of warblers and other migrants. See this video for evidence:


I have never before seen so many warblers shoulder to shoulder, and almost all of these birds were foraging high in the canopy throughout the day except during the brief early afternoon 'deluges' during which they bathed. They would begin dropping from the canopy in one downpour, bathe for a handful of minutes, then leave for the remainder of the day.

For 2012 I have so far opted not to create a water feature primarily out of laziness (and not wanting to spend $50+ to get the needed vinyl liner from Lowe's- my old one has holes). But now realizing that I need OVEN, GWWA, WIWA, CAWA, YBFL, and several other difficult-to-find passerines as they return in late August, I decided it was a must to get one ready by patching up the old one with duct tape. So, here it is:  

 This yard lacks a good brushpile, but fortunately the bath is surrounded by weeds and vines 2-3 feet high. These are connected in turn to the canopy of the forest to my NW by subcanopy of apple and sumac directly above the bath, so like in fall 2009, canopy migrants will have an unimpeded pathway to the water not requiring them to leave cover.

 Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I placed the bath so that I can monitor it all day long as I work. Given the unpredictability of visits by rare migrants during the daylight hours (typically anywhere from 11AM to 4PM, peaking around 1-2PM), this will help to ensure I don't miss the single GWWA which visits from now until Sept 5.
Here's to 185 for 2012! Does anyone else have water features?


  1. I water the hostas in front every couple days, so sort of?

  2. I tried one of those solar panel water features -- waste of good money. As soon as our house has electricity I'm going back to a real pump.

    You "pools" look a little steep and deep, no?

  3. Well the bottom one is both steep and deep, to put the pump deep underwater. The top one is very shallow, and I have now completely removed the walls. I have SOSP, GRCA, CHSP, and others using it daily now. Shouldn't be long until GWWA arrives!


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