Birds, Just Can't Count On Them

I've had this Backyard Bird Count weekend marked on my calendar for months. I had such ambition and high hopes! I was going to give the definitive count for downtown Silver Spring. Not only have I failed to count and log any birds to their web site, but I also have not gotten any decent photos to post there or here. What I realize is that bird watching and counting takes time -- a lot of time -- which is something I don't have. I've been home maybe 4 daylight hours this weekend.
What it also takes is patience, I have none when it comes to birds. I'm out there trying to get close to them to take a photo and they hop away. I yell at them, they hop further. I put out more food -- they fly away to a tree-top and give me the stink-eye. I'll never make a Disney heroine at this rate!
It also does not help that I have no decent bird ID guide. So my partial list from one hour's observation yesterday about Noon looks like this:
~ 20+ small brown things - some Sparrows, Carolina Wrens, and Chick-a-dees and a few I'm not sure of what they are really
~ Blue Jays - one male and one female
~ 5 or 6 Starlings (they won't stay still for a count!)
~ one redheaded Woodpecker
~ 3 Cardinals - two males and one female
~ some other birds that I think are common Crows
Ah, well. Next year I'll carve out more time and remember to purchase a bird guide.


FirePhrase said…
I got a few of these laminated fold-up cards for my parents when they started RVing. They go to a lot of state parks, and Mom can put these fold up cards in her purse when they go for a walk or sit in front of the RV. It doesn't give a lot of details, mainly just pictures, but it is handy if they just want to know "hey, what's that little brown bird" while they're out hiking.

I'll check those out -- I know my basic birds, but I really need help in IDing the male/females of the same species -- some look nothing at all alike. A guide book with good photos and not just the showy males will be great. I'll start shopping around at the garden and enviro- events I attend this spring.

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