Monday, November 30, 2009

Bird study, Part Three

Still studying birds here in the Buffalo herd.  Herd birds.  Ha. 

Anyway... moving on.... while reading and notebooking about one or two various song birds a week, we are also doing some real-life bird watching and record-keeping.  

We are part of Project Feeder Watch!

Dark eyed junco

Project Feeder Watch is a program of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Participants spend a couple of days each week or two carefully counting and identifying the bird species seen in a particular observation area (most likely, your own backyard), and then report the results on the Cornell website.  There is a small fee to participate that helps fund the program's research.  After registering and paying the fee, participants receive a welcome packet, which includes a wall poster to help identify the birds you are most likely to see at your feeders.

Northern Cardinal Pair

We are only two weeks in, and are already having fun and learning more about the birds we see.  The project began the second week in November and runs through early April, so it's not too late to join in if you are interested!  You can visit the About Feeder Watch page for more information, or watch the video at the "Project Feeder Watch" link above.

As a side note, we learned about Project Feeder Watch while visiting Cornell's All About Birds page.  We love, love, love this site for quick information on just about any bird you can think of.  One of our favorite things to do is play the sound recordings to hear the songs and calls of different birds.

House Sparrows

Even if you don't plan to become a part of Project Feeder Watch, I strongly encourage you to set up a feeder or two that you can easily see from inside, if you don't already.  Ours are at the window near our dining table.  The birds eventually become used to feeding so close to the house.  All winter long last year we really enjoyed watching them come and go and interact with each other.  So much so that we put up a hummingbird feeder in the same place for the summer, and already are looking forward to another winter with the birds!

Carolina Chickadee

Do you hang feeders?  What birds do you see at your house?


Cindy said...

I love to watch birds. I hang feeders by the beaucoup! I do not have much variety but they are still fun to watch. I have lots of cardinals and jays right now. Sometimes I toss bread crumbs and crackers in the winter time to them. As a result, I adopted two kittens that love to eat bread! If they are hungry enough, they eat bread right along with the birds.

Karabeth said...

I've been here before....I'm Karen of Candid Diversions' Mom...Okay, introductions done, I'll move on. :)

I love bird watching. We've had some pretty birds around here in recent years (pileated woodpecker, downy woodpeckers, red bellied woodpeckers, northern flickers) and some of the more ordinary ones like purple finches, chickadees, robins, and wrens.

We hang suet in the winter from a hook right in front of the kitchen window where we can see it. That's where we see the woodpeckers. We substitute sugar water for hummingbirds in the summer.

We have a thistle feeder on our patio so we can see the golden finches. It is fun to watch them molt in the spring and fall. In the winter both sexes are olive colored.

We also hang a regular feeder out in the yard for the cardinals and others to visit.

Have fun! It's something you'll enjoy long after your children are grown and gone.