Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Birdwatching teaches patience

Happiness! I have had a Northern Cardinal visit the hanging feeder at least twice today! I admit, I moved the tangled water hose away from the tree. I do not see how that 30 ft tangled mess of seafoam green and yellow could have fooled a bird to think it was a snake, but I cannot think of another reason birds were not flocking to my feeder. Voila! Moved the "snake" and a cardinal enjoyed a long lunch!

At the pine tree, I had a pair of cardinals (one male and one female) dine at the seed tray this morning. I then added some plumped raisins and baked pie crust with pecan pieces (from a pecan pie) on a nearby napkin. A white-throated sparrow came to check it out!

This bird, as common as it is, was tough for me to get an ID on! They are little brown birds about 6-ish inches long with speckled breasts (some individuals more than others). I had to keep looking... oh! It has a white "beard" under its head (the correct term is "throat") and looks like it has a long dark mustache that contrasts against the white throat. But... am I sure that's a white throat or just a pale buff? It makes a difference! Could I see a yellow spot of plumage just above the eye at what would be the bridge of its nose? hmm... go back and see if you see the bird again!

 Good grief! This is tougher than I thought! Good thing I didn't wait until the day of the Great Backyard Bird Count to start looking at birds! I'm also glad I got a headstart on FeederWatch. It's important to not only count the birds I observe, but also to list which birds I have observed. Descriptions like "and 6 more little brown birds with speckled breasts" doesn't help CornellLab know which birds are hanging out in my little piece of the world.  :P

Am I having fun yet? Of COURSE!! School starts back on Monday, though, so I need to figure out my observing schedule.

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