Sunday, February 17, 2008

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.


WashingtonGardener said...

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.