This weekend is the 2021 version of the Great Backyard Bird Count. Although due to temperatures below freezing Friday, yesterday, and today, I have mostly observed and counted from the window of my living room. My hillside birds gather at the feeders and bird bath in the front yard and I have a perfect indoor vantage point.
I bundled up and went outside for 20 minutes yesterday with my zoom lens to try to capture a few photographs. It helps me be able to see detail and color better when I can enlarge the photograph on the computer and compare with the Cornell Labs Merlin Bird ID–an amazing tool to readily identify a bird.
The Dark-eyed Junco and American Robin are typically found on the ground, although they can and do alight on a tree limb or get in the platform feeders.
This is the first Eastern Bluebird I have seen this year, and the Chipping Sparrows just showed up a few days ago. The cardinals are here year-round in large numbers.
This is the first time that I have identified a White-breasted Nuthatch, even though I might have seen one previously. I could see him from the window, but only by going outside and taking the photograph and enlarging, and then using MerlinID, could I identify it.
The count continues today and early this morning (in the sleet), the ground below the feeders was filled with juncos, robins, a couple of mourning doves and the ever present cardinals. The smaller species use the feeders. I fill the feeders each morning and again mid-afternoon. And now, it is time for me to put out some fresh un-frozen water for the cats and the birds. It reminded me yesterday as I broke ice on the water bowls 3 times of all the years I would break ice on Rio’s water trough in my Texas treks during the winter. Sis and I had a big sledge hammer that we would lift over the fence and bust ice. It was a lot easier yesterday using the back end of the fire poker.