Backyard Birds – November 30-December 6

One of the regulars, a male Downy Woodpecker, visits the suet feeder.
One of the regulars, a male Downy Woodpecker, visits the suet feeder.

It’s been a quiet week at the feeders this week with the total number of birds visiting way down. Might be related to the clear, cold weather of the past week with temperatures close to or below 0° C in the early part of the day. My official Project Feederwatch counts were very low this Saturday and Sunday with a total of only 5 species and less than 20 individuals.

Only one significant bird event occurred during the last seven days and unfortunately I was on the phone when it happened and wasn’t able to capture it with the camera. Like something out of Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” an immense mixed flock of Northwestern Crows and European Starlings descended onto our lawn looking for leather jacket larva. It was amazing to see and was over in less than 10 minutes. Hard to believe that this was the first record of both of these species since I started keeping track a couple of weeks ago and even more surprising that the starlings haven’t returned (yet) to attack the suet feeder!

Here’s the species list for this week:

  • Song Sparrow
  • House Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee
  • Spotted Towhee
  • House Finch
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Mourning Dove
  • Northwestern Crow (new!)
  • European Starling (new!)

As part of Project FeederWatch, I’m keeping an eye on our feeders two days out of the week to help scientists track winter bird activity, abundance and diversity. It’s a great way to spend an hour or two drinking coffee and peering out into the rain. I’ve also decided to start a yard list of all the birds that visit our backyard.

Project FeederWatch

1 comment

  1. Dave, thank you for your comment about my sunrise photos and to answer your question….yes, I have been playing around with exposure compensation and I did underexpose some of the sunrise pics I took that morning, but unfortunately I forgot to lower my ISO. I’m not sure my brain was awake yet….I literally jumped out of bed, walked out my bedroom door and started snapping pictures. lol I think I need to be a little more prepared next time. After reading your comment, I actually had to look up exposure compensation and found out that’s what I’ve been doing when I’m metering in manual mode….I just didn’t know that’s what it was called. You’re probably snickering now that you know how little I know about photography! I plan on checking out some books from the library to try and learn more. Scott Kelby’s books were recommended.

    I love your shot of the woodpecker….it’s such a pretty bird! I had no idea they would be out and about in such cold weather! Oh and what a great project you are doing. I would love to have some bird feeders, but I can’t because I have a CAT! I do have one hummingbird feeder that he can’t reach though. 🙂

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