Backyard Birds – December 14 – 20

Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens), a regular visitor to our suet feeders.

A bit of a roller coaster of a week as the Mourning Dove failed to make an appearance on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and we figured that one of the neighbours’ cats had finally killed it. Fortunately, I spotted the dove yesterday morning so it is still alive. Unfortunately for Jocie it wasn’t around during the Comox CBC on Sunday.

Last night I put chicken wire on the top of the two fence panels that are complete on our shared property line in an attempt to keep the cats from getting over them and into the garden. The rest of the fence on that side of our yard is “temporary” wire and post that we put up 3 years ago. The good news is that our neighbour has finally got all the wood that he needs to build the fence. He plans to stain the wood inside a large family camping tent with a heater on to keep warm. I’ll say no more.

Three highlight species this week – a single White-crowned Sparrow has returned to the feeders, a single Ruby-crowned Kinglet continues to visit the suet feeder regularly (still trying to get a good photograph of it), and the European Starling (or Common Starling for those of you in Europe) finally made its debut for the Project FeederWatch survey. About time!

Here’s the species list for the week:

  • Song Sparrow
  • House Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco (including 1 Slate-coloured Junco)
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee
  • Spotted Towhee
  • House Finch
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Mourning Dove
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • European Starling

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