Saturday, February 16, 2008

1, 2, 3, 4 . . .

High: 23° F
Low: 2° F
Mostly sunny with falling temperatures throughout the day and into the evening.

Day two of Audubon’s Backyard Bird Count, and the nation has been busy. Already, over 1.5 million birds have been recorded and sent to Audubon. Here at "Out With Ari" our numbers are not nearly so inclusive, but we've had some great sightings nonetheless.

Jane in Peoria,IL reports a hearty flock of goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) and dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), who spent part of the morning at her feeders. They were rudely interrupted by three blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata), who bullied their way into the neighborhood. “They’re nasty,” says Jane. “No social niceties at all.”

Rusty the Squirrel Chaser is also looking for more adherence to the great chain of being out in avian land. He says a mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) attacked his nemesis, Bob The Mean Cat. His mom even managed to get a picture of it. We’re hoping she’ll post it soon.

Mack the Boston Terrier wrote to tell us that he has a family of woodpeckers living behind his Houston home, and our good friend Dakota (who always, always does the homework he is assigned!) in Maryland says he saw 2 of Shakespeare’s favorite bird, the starling (Sturnus vulgaris), a cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), and a bunch of birds in V-pattern. He didn’t say which way they were flying, but I’m guessing they were Canada Geese on their way home. Maybe they’ll buzz Maine later this week?

Down the road from us, Dave—our naturalist guru—observed 32 evening grosbeaks (Hesperiphona vespertina). We’re green with envy.

But the real color of the day for us was definitely red. Some of our sightings:

Two pine grosbeaks (Pinicola enucleator)

A male and female cardinal

Seven warring redpolls (Carduelis flammea)

Four hairy woodpeckers, complete with red tuft (Picoides villosus).
And one very determined redbreasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)

Lovely! Now all we need is a partridge (Dendrortyx barbatus) in a pear tree (Pyrus communis).
Don’t forget: there’s still time to send us your tallies. The bird count continues through Monday, and we have a prize for the blogger with the most tallies sent. You can email us your sightings ( or include them in the comment link. Good luck--and happy canaturaling!


Dmitri said...

I counted one wubus maximus. A tawny specimen, and one zoari (very rare annual sighting).

Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

I don't know how to identify birds, but I can let you know if I see any!


PS. Wilbur would probably be better suited for this task. He watches for birds all day long.

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...


Mom saw a redtail perched in a tree -

Yesterday a khooper's hawk flew by whilst we were walking -


PeeEss: Tell me what you're looking for!

Kapp pack said...

OOOO, we saw two blue jays today!

Woo woo, Kelsey Ann

Robin said...

As of 8:30 am I've counted 15 redpolls, 23 pine grosbeaks (first winter we've had them), 6 bluejays, one red breasted nuthatch and umpteen chickadees. The chickadees come and go so quickly it's hard to get an accurate count. A dozen is probably a safe estimate.

Robin (also in Maine)

Turbo the Sibe said...

My Human saw an Eastern Bluebird next to our deck this week.

We also have a stupid woodpecker
(stupidus houseknockus) who likes to peck our house.

Gus and Louie said...

That is just wonderful. We still haven't seen any unusual birds but we are still on the lookout. Our MeMaw has a bird feeder in Wis and she see's lots of different kinds of birds in her yard...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus and Louie

Cody, THE Fussy Pot Pants said...

What are the birds doing? Over here, the common species are boring and drap looking. Your birds are very colourful!

The Army of Four said...

Oh, yeah. Reds rule. So say me and Ammy. Ha roo roo roo!
We saw three big flocks of gooses fly by - but I can't tell you much more than that. They did a lot of honking - probably a reflection of all the traffic up there.
Play bows,

JB's Big World said...

You have some great birdies come to your yard. We feed the birds here too but it mostly looks like doves and ordinary sparrows. Some of the sparrows have some red on them though. For some reason, we have not seen cardinals in about a year or so. We used to see them at dusk. Mom buys a special kind of seed for them.

Amici said...

My Mom's sister and their family loves to go bird watching. We should have clued them into this (they live in Wiscassett, ME).

Amici can look out of the skylight when he is at home in his kennel. He sees a lot of squirrels but he hasn't filled us in on the birds he's seen.

Katherine and Pippa, said...

We are so loving your reports - and photos - of the bird count.


Ps We nominated you for post of the month about your original Audubon post. Head over to The Bone Zone at DWB to look.

Blue said...

The bird counts certainly going well.
I'd love to see a Red Cardinal first hand. I made do with a swan today - photo on blog of course- was out enjoying the winter sunshine. Found catkins out.

I'm very happy for you to link my new blog, but please use name Behind Kyanites Door rather than Blue.
I haven't got round to doing my friends list on new site but you'll be there when I do, as you were on 'If only, if only'

Best wishes, pats & pets

Dakota said...

I am sad to report that we've seen nothing today. It's chilly here - well, not for me, but The Mom says it's chilly, and very damp.

No birds sighted.

D'Azul Siberian said...

its snowing here, so the birds are hiding. Do chickens count? We have lots of those.

Me & my puppies said...

Reading over your posts it appears to have been good birding weekend. We wanted to participate, but it was an insanely busy couple of days for us. As our home backs up to a 600 acre National Refuge, which surrounds the bay; we generally see a wide range of our feathered friends. On a daily basis we encounter; everything from Turkey Vultures to a variety of water fowl, the Great Blue Heron being among one of my favorites. When we do hike out into the refuge, we are often lucky enough to see the beautiful Osprey. During the May migration, I promise to make a list again. Last year we spied over 30 different birds and I am so looking forward to seeing the Red Knots, Ruddy Turnstones, and all the little peeps again. It is no longer a “Silent Spring”. ~ Trish

Maverick the Pirate said...

Harrrrr Aei
there be a lot of birds on yer counter thing Harrrrr
Cap'n Maverick the Pirate