This weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count, and this is the first time there is worldwide participation. Although I counted birds in Millennium Park on Friday afternoon and at the Portage this morning, the most fun I had this weekend with the GBBC was counting the birds in my own backyard, simply because rather than glancing out the window now and then to see who was at the feeders, I paid closer attention to the visitors.
It took four hours of on-and-off vigilance to count numbers of all the species I expected to see, and I was still short on Northern Cardinals until today. I haven’t submitted a yard list yet today, but I will add a few more mourning doves and the Cardinals.
Overall, there were fewer Dark-Eyed Juncos than I have seen the last few weekends, so they may have started moving north. The big surprise was a flock of about 25 European Starlings that invaded the yard around 1:30 in the afternoon. They raided the feeders, but I don’t think they ate much, they just wanted to cause general commotion. They were more interested in the birdbaths and throwing a splash party.
All the photographs except for the female Downy were taken through the back porch windows so they’re fuzzy at best. But that’s because I was trying to get photographs of the most interesting bird…a yellow male House Finch.
Overall, the House Finches outnumbered every other species at 40+ individuals.