Sunday, June 16, 2019

Record Backyard Bird Year!

 We've been keeping track of the bird species in our back yard for many years now. For the last five years, we've had a total of 35-36 different bird species seen. That's pretty good, more than most people can get. It certainly helps that we live on a ranch near a creek with good meadow and riparian habitat within view of the house. We also have some nice, tall trees around our house.

This year we started our count on January 1. We started seeing a variety of bird species. In April we realized that we were seeing more than we had in past Aprils, and by early May we reached our 35th species!

May is a month of migration, so we knew we would surpass our record. Especially when we saw unusual birds like this osprey.
What a cool bird. They generally like water, as they hunt fish. We have seen them before, but they are not an annual bird.

In May, the American Kestrels returned to our yard. With their loud call, they were easy to find. And not only did we find them, we found a mated pair with a lizard for lunch! They are nesting in one of our trees, and we can't wait to see the young.

Not far from our house is a tiny reservoir. Desert Boy and I went down one day and found this beautiful Black-Necked Stilt. It's not counted on our Backyard Bird list, but I just had to show off this beauty.

As the sun set, the reflections were amazing.

 This photo is a little ways from our house, but it shows behind the red-tailed hawk the very snowy mountains. I think the extra water, plus the kids getting older and being able to identify more birds, very helpful to our elevated number.

Here's a red-tailed hawk in our yard.

My goal is to keep the sidebar list updated (although in doing this post, I found I hadn't been so good at that!). On my phone, I can't see the sidebar list, so here it is, what we've seen in our backyard so far:

1. Common Raven (1.1.19)
2. Black-billed Magpie (1.1.19)
3. Pinyon Jay (1.1.19)
4. Chicken (1.1.19)
5. European Starling (1.1.19)
6. Northern Flicker (1.3.19)
7. Eurasian Collared Dove (1.7.19)
8. Dark-eyed Junco (1.8.19)
9. American Robin (1.8.19)
10. Great Horned Owl (1.9.19)
11. House Sparrow (1.10.19)
12. Bald Eagle (2.17.19)
13. Red-tailed Hawk (3.1.19)
14. Canada Goose (3.2.19)
15. Sandhill Crane (3.4.19)
16. Killdeer (3.24.19)
17. Turkey Vulture (3.24.19)
18. American Kestrel (3.30.19)
19. Western Meadowlark (3.30.19)
20. Pine Siskin (4.8.19)
21. American Goldfinch (4.12.19)
22. Yellow-rumped Warbler (4.14.19)
23. Sharp-shinned Hawk (4.15.19)
24. Great Blue Heron (4.23.19)
25. Barn Swallow (4.27.19)
26. Western Kingbird (4.27.19)
27. Brewer's Blackbird (4.26.19)
28. Yellow Warbler (4.27.19)
29. Mallard (4.27.19)
30. Yellow-headed Blackbird (4.27.19)
31. Rough-winged Swallow (4.27.19)
32. Osprey (5.6.19)
33. Bullock's Oriole (5.2.19)
34. Northern Mockingbird (5.10.19)
35. Hummingbird (4.12.19)
36. Western Wood-Pewee (5.12.19)
37. Thrush (Swainson's or Hermit) (5.12.19)
38. Western Tanager (5.12.19)
39. Western Bluebird (5.12.19)
40. Cattle Egret (5.24.19)
41. Common Nighthawk (6.7.19)
42. Common Poorwill (6.7.19)
43. Long-billed Curlew (6.12.19)

And even though they aren't wild birds, I have to say that our chickens are pretty amazing! Aren't they cute?

I hope your backyard birding is going well too! 

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