Tuesday, February 18, 2014
This weekend was the “Great Backyard Bird Count”, and we tried to participate in my household. The weather did not cooperate on Saturday, but that was ok and par for the course. On Sunday morning we were sitting at the breakfast table and there was the attack of the Common Grackle. I think there were a few hundred on our bird feeders. Behind them in our vegetable garden there was a mixed flock of Red-winged Black Birds and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Lots of noise and they chased all the other birds away. A half our later I went to walk the dogs in the woods behind our home, and the birds were waiting for me (a friend posted on my face book ... "paging Mr. Hitchcock, come and get your birds"). The woods were full of these guys. The next day we went to the swamp a half hours walk behind our home and saw large groups of the Red-winged Blackbird and American Robins.
This count is every President’s Day weekend for us living here in the U.S. and we have participated with it for five or more years. This year we had the lowest count. I am not sure if the weather was an issue or if we are just getting fewer birds. Most troubling was the lack of Red-headed Woodpeckers and Wood Ducks in the swamps behind our home. We usually see them there, but this year they were not to be found. I’m sure we will check again a few weeks from now to see if they have returned.