Sunday, May 2, 2021

Backyard Birds 2021

 For the past several years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) we've been keeping track of the birds in our backyard. It's been a way to teach the kids more about birds, teach ourselves more about birds, and just get to know our backyard better. 

For the first several years, we got about 35 species a year. Then in 2019 we got 45 species, and in 2020, with more time at home, we got 47 species! 

Here are some of the highlights.

Red-tailed Hawk (a pair nest nearby, so we see and hear them frequently)

Yellow-rumped warbler (arriving before the leaves!)

Canada Geese (they can be super noisy!)

White-crowned Sparrow (they hang out all year, but start singing in the spring and become a lot more noticeable; they love our bushes, including this currant bush)

Here's our list from 2020:

1. Black-billed Magpie (1.2.20)
2. European Starling (1.2.20)
3. Eurasian Collared Dove (1.2.20)
4. Red-tailed Hawk (1.3.20)
5. Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (1.6.20)
6. Common Raven (1.15.20)
7. Northern Flicker (1.15.20)
8. Great Horned Owl (1.20.20)
9. Canada Goose (1.29.20)
10. Pinyon Jay (1.2.9.20)
11. White-crowned Sparrow (2.10.20)
12. Bald Eagle (2.16.20)
13. Golden Eagle (2.16.20)
14. House Sparrow (2.19.20)
15. American Robin (3.10.20)
16. Western Meadowlark (3.10.20)
17. Sandhill Crane (3.12.20)
18. Say's Phoebe (3.17.20)
19. Turkey Vulture (3.22.20)
20. Belted Kingfisher (3.25.20)
21. Killdeer (3.25.20)
22. Pine Siskin (3.23.20)
23. American Goldfinch (4.3.20)
24. Yellow-rumped Warbler (4.9.20)
25. Red-winged Blackbird (4.8.20)
26. Brewer's Blackbird (4.10.20)
27. Wild Turkey (4.15.20)
28. Barn Swallow (4.16.20)
29. Western Kingbird (4.21.20)
30. Evening Grosbeak (4.26.20)
31. Great Blue Heron (4.28.20)
32. Swainson's Hawk (4.30.20)
33. Yellow Warbler (5.1.20)
34. Bullock's Oriole (5.3.20)
35. Black-chinned Hummingbird (5.3.20)
36. Violet-green Swallow (5.3.20)
37. Common Poorwill (5.3.20)
38. Western Wood-Pewee (5.12.20)
39. Northern Mockingbird (5.27.20)
40. Common Nighthawk (5.29.20)
41. Long-billed Curlew (6.2.20)
42. House Finch (6.8.20)
43. Broad-tailed Hummingbird (6.8.20)
44. Brown-headed Cowbird (6.22.20)
45. Chicken (6.22.20)
46. Black-headed Grosbeak (7.14.20)
47. Nuthatch (12.20.20)

In 2020 we had owls nest in our backyard. The literature says they don't often reuse a nest, but in 2021 they are back!

Great Horned Owl and Owlets

We're doing the challenge again in 2021, and it's not too late to join. Spring is a super time to see lots of birds as some migrate through and the summer arrivals come. I've really enjoyed seeing how the birds interact with the blooming trees and flowers. 
Cassin's Finch and apricot blossoms

American Goldfinch

More American Goldfinches on silver poplar tree

I've also kept my feeder out later, and that has attracted a Lazuli Bunting, such a beautiful bird!
Fuzzy Lazuli Bunting through the window


Join us in the quest for backyard birds. What are you seeing in your backyard?
We're hoping we can beat our 2020 record. We've already had a couple novel sightings this year (like Great Egrets), so it's possible. 

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