Monday, February 3, 2014

Desert Survivor's Backyard Bird Challenge

Hello! Are you ready for a challenge? This is a fun one, doesn't take much time, no money, but is quite fulfilling. 

Join us for the Backyard Bird Challenge! 

Inspired by my friend Kevin, a serious birder in the St. George area, this year we are keeping track of the birds we see in our backyard (and front yard and side yard and over the yard). 

How do you do it? 

Just find a piece of paper, start making a list, and put it in an easy-to-reach place (we're keeping it on the refrigerator). We decided on February 1 as our starting date, as we wanted to keep track of the first date that we see a bird so that if we do this year after year, we'll know about when the spring and summer birds showing up and if they're early or late for the year.

Here's our list after two days:
 And we added three more on February 3: Great Horned Owl, European Starling, and Western Scrub-Jay.

Our goal is to get 50 birds this year. I think that's enough to be a bit challenging, but still doable.

For those of you enveloped in snow, yes, you can begin now! In fact, it's easier to start learning birds in winter because there aren't as many around!
 This Dark-eyed Junco is one of several year-round residents of the Great Basin.

Here are several websites that are great for learning more about birds:
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Audubon's How to Identify Birds
National Geographic's Backyard Bird Identifier
Common Feeder Birds

And for even more inspiration, the Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up February 14-17, and is a fun way to join others in a citizen science project from the comfort of your own home!

Good luck counting, and let us know what you find!
 Great Horned Owl mom and baby--in a tree near our house three summers ago! Maybe we'll get lucky again this summer.

Happy birding!

1 comment:

Pale-winged Trumpeter said...

Great challenge! Count me in. I've got a Rock Wren and some Eurasian Collared-Doves already.

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