Monday, December 31, 2007

Dark-Eyed Junco

Dark Eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
The best-known species of junco, a genus of small American sparrows.
I have to say that after the first snow fall this species along with the Black
Capped Chickadee always top the weekly Tally Sheet. The difference is that
the Chickadees stay around all year. Anyway I sat out in the new fallen snow
near our apple tree and within minutes I was surrounded. First just a couple
at the top of the tree and then a few more, finally one will drop to the ground
to test the waters. If everything looks good, pretty soon they come from all
the trees on the property line and the ground is covered. I wasn't sure how long
I would have to wait for the birds to return because before I came out for a
few pictures we had a visit from a Coopers Hawk. He went away hungry today.
Other than the Juncos and a couple a couple others it was a slow photo day.
Our family would like to offer up all our fellow FeederWatchers and everybody
everywhere A Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Coopers Hawk Gets A Meal

This adult Coopers Hawk made a successful kill. I was not able to determine what meal was being served. These birds are absolutely stunning. They show patience that we all should all be jealous of. This bird was on watch for an hour before I had to leave. When I returned to my watch the kill had been made. It had a death grip on the bird for another hour. I am sure the Coopers would have consumed the meal right here, but a couple of Common Crows arrived on the scene and apparently bothered the Hawk so much that it took the meal "To Go."
Maybe this photo will help with some of the discussions about telling a Coopers from a Sharpie.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Gorgeous Day For A Bird Count!

These are some of the prettiest little birds to visit most feeders in our area. They are also some of the most Skittish! It's tough to get one to sit still long enough to frame them up. The weather here today was well into the forties...Most of the snow has melted around our house. I sat outside in my chair dressed lightly. It was a pretty fair two day count. We has an apple tree full of Blue Jays and the House Wren visited again this morning. Our Red Bellied Woodpecker showed up a day early and missed the tally sheet this week. We were also treated with a Song Sparrow as well as two Chipping Sparrows. We had a couple of House Finches at the Thistle Feeder. Neither of them showed any sign of Conjunctivitis. Since we've moved we have had a great decline in the number of House Finches. Our previous count site gave us the opportunity to have a Banded House Finch make himself at home and raise a family. We were able to tell from the bands where he was released and when. Cornell has a section of there Website just for the purpose of identifying Banded House Finches. Well until next time...Happy New Year and Happy Bird Counting!

Monday, December 24, 2007

We had a warm spell after the massive snow storm that hit the region last week. Most of the snow cover melted and brought the birds to the feeders in large numbers. We had the usual visitors, but we were pleased to see a rare diner. Two House Wrens stopped and had there fill and then some. The largest count number for a single species was a whopping eleven Blue Jays. That many Jays even topped our usual count leaders; the Black Capped Chickadees...One which we chose to include in this post.

Project Feederwatch Photo Sharing Project

Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds
that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers,
community areas, and other locales in North America.
Project FeederWatch is operated by the Cornell Lab
of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada.
My wife and I have been counting for three or four years.
We submit tons of backyard bird photos to Cornell each
year and each
year several of them are published in
printed publications and on the Project Website.
All year long we get many different species of wild birds.
We figured this would be a great way to share the birds
we count with
other members and anyone else who
stumbles across this blog. We also post photos at
The Weather Underground
The weather this morning in Erin, NY which is only a few miles from Millport where we live.