Birds in the Watershed

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 1:31pm

Citizen Scientists in Action

There have been two bird count events in the past months - the Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb 12-15, 2016 and the Christmas Bird Count, December 14, 2015 - Jan 5, 2016. We have some reports from both counts and there are lots of birds in the watershed.  

The 2015 Christmas Count team identified 27 species of birds in various parks in the watershed.  The most of a single species was American Robins at 44, followed closely by Crows at 40.  I was really happy to learn about the Crows as it wasn't that long ago that they were threatened by West Nile disease.  Also spotted were a Fish Crow, a Pileated Woodpecker, a Red-tailed Hawk and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and two turkey vultures as well as more common sparrows, cardinals, morning doves and finches and others!  The complete list is at the end of this page.
 

Backyard Counters sent in two reports:

From Mikel and her son - a copy of their submission
 
M**** Backyard feeder, Montgomery Co, Maryland, US
Feb 13, 2016 10:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Protocol: Stationary
14 species (+1 other taxa)
 
2       Mourning Dove
1       Red-bellied Woodpecker
2       Downy Woodpecker  male & female pair
3       Blue Jay
1       Carolina Chickadee
2       Carolina Wren
14     American Robin   - Flock swooped down in backyard for 10 minutes, then moved on.  
10     European Starling 
10     Dark-eyed Junco 
1       White-throated Sparrow   - yellow patches by eyes noted; heard song earlier in the week
2       Song Sparrow  -   striped breast & central spot noted
5       Northern Cardinal 
1       House Finch  - brick-red head noted, striped breast
18     House Sparrow
1       passerine sp.  - Purple finch: clean breast and raspberry coloring noted
 
And from Ann:
 
You can add to the list my front- and side-yard bird count:
A male and female flicker;
male and female cardinals;
a male and female downy woodpecker;
a blue jay (sex unknown);
and a mob of at least 40 robins (I photographed them all) roosting together in a line atop the wooden framework of a new McMansion going up next to my house).

 

All of the birds disappeared immediately when a large black and white hawk came and perched where the robins had been, and sat there waiting for the other birds to reappear. Per my bird book, it looked like a juvenile Red Tail Hawk. Have seen several hawks lately, just sitting near the bird feeders in my front yard, watching for smaller birds or maybe squirrels. Snow on the ground must be making it hard for them to hunt elsewhere.
 
If you would like to participate in these counts next year, visit their websites for more information.
 
We're always interested in bird sightings, so please keep the reports coming!
Happy Birding,
Sarah
 
 
Christmas Bird Count List 2015
Area:  Sector 7 MD Neighborhood Parks**

Fish Crow 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Song Sparrow 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
American Goldfinch 2
Northern Mockingbird 2
Turkey Vulture 2
Cedar Waxwing 4
European Starling 4
Red-bellied Woodpecker 5
Blue Jay 7
Carolina Chickadee 7
Carolina Wren 7
Downy Woodpecker 7
White-breasted Nuthatch 7
House Sparrow 8
Mourning Dove 8
Rock Pigeon 8
House Finch 9
Tufted Titmouse 9
Dark-eyed Junco 12
Northern Cardinal 14
White-throated Sparrow 14
American Crow 40
American Robin 44
 

**  Parks- Sangamore, Glen Echo Heights, Wood Acres, Westland Middle School/Little Falls Library grounds, Capello, Vinton, Willard Av., Westbrook Elementary School grounds, and trails between Capello, Vinton, and Willard Av. Parks 

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