Project FeederWatch Update Jan 16 &17

Dark eyed Junco

Dark eyed Junco

by Lee Farnham

A hint of things to come was the theme of this weekend’s FeederWatch as some larger numbers of birds were seen within some species this weekend.

Since FeederWatch, run by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, asks that watchers record not only the species seen, but also the greatest number of that species seen at any one time, we’d been wondering why the numbers were down from years previous…but no more.

Overall fourteen species were recorded, but the total number of birds seen at any one time of those species increased to 85 in all, up from 47 the weekend before!

The big jump was on Sunday, as a result of two changes:

  1. It was snowing, and about 32° F. Whenever it snows, demand really grows.
  2. We decided to spread Thistle seed (Niger) along our deck rail  and on the floor of the deck underneath the rail too (to supplement the two Thistle feeders with 12 positions each).

You wouldn’t think that a small change like that would have such a big result, but it did.  The highest number of Juncos seen at any one time jumped to 12, but the really big gain was in Goldfinches, which peaked at 37 on Sunday afternoon.

At the same time there were Robins all over the place; we saw 15 in the feeding area on Sunday, and the number of House Finches was big, ending at eight!

Mourning Doves were scarce, just one, and there’s still no sign of the Brown Creeper (aka Creepie) who was a regular visitor for the last ten years.  Please tell Creepie that we’d love to see him if he’s in your yard. We miss him.

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