Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Project FeederWatch

Now being out of the city, I thought it would be a good winter to do Project FeederWatch and so far I have not been disappointed. Project FeederWatch is run by Bird Studies Canada and requires as much effort as you are able to give. Here is simple citizen science at its best, allowing people to submit important bird data on the days they aren't able to leave their house. Here is a link to the main site: Project FeederWatch Canada.

Because I was working two jobs when FeederWatch started, I opted to take down data every two weeks on the hard copy booklet sent out w/ the welcome package, though I sort of wish now that I would had just done everything by computer and inputted data each week (you just have to make sure you leave 5 days b/w your counts so you're restricted to the same two days each week w/ this method). The first few pages of my FeederWatch booklet that I'll be sending in are pretty sparse. Like, two-American-Goldfinch-over-a-two-day-period sparse. Then the first big snowfall happened at the end of December and that changed everything. Within the first day of the big snow, I had American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Downy Woodpecker, Brown-headed Cowbirds, European Starlings, and House Sparrows.

Though Project FeederWatch will only get my data for 2 days out of each two week period, I have kept up a daily list on eBird of everything that's been visiting the feeder.

Here's my Project FeederWatch list for the winter so far (including high counts):

American Goldfinch (2)
Blue Jay (1)
Mourning Dove (1)
Downy Woodpecker (1)
European Starling (16)
American Tree Sparrow (1)
Dark-eyed Junco (including 1 female Oregon) (8)
Brown-headed Cowbird (4)
House Sparrow (25)
Accipiter sp. (1)

Total Species: 10

And here's my Feeder List for the winter period starting December 1, 2012 (including high counts):

Accipiter sp. (1)
Mourning Dove (5)
Downy Woodpecker (1)
Blue Jay (4)
American Crow (7)
Black-capped Chickadee (2)
European Starling (16)
American Tree Sparrow (4)
(Slate-colored) Dark-eyed Junco (8)
(Oregon) Dark-eyed Junco (1)
Northern Cardinal (4)
Brown-headed Cowbird (4)
House Finch (4)
American Goldfinch (2)
House Sparrow (52)

Total species: 14

Here are a few of my Instagrams from this winter:

 Male Downy Woodpecker

 Blue Jay

 Black-capped Chickadee

 Brown-headed Cowbird

 House Finches and House Sparrows

 Dark-eyed Junco - female Slate-colored

 Northern Cardinal and House Sparrows

 Dark-eyed Junco - female Oregon looking like a ball w/ a tail

I'm hoping that w/ another blanketing of snow this winter, I'll get some more birds coming around. The last few mild days have been pretty empty out there w/ a recurring Blue Jay and Downy Woodpecker and the occasional House Sparrow but I'm hoping at least a few more species will stop by. Nuthatch, Common Redpoll, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, or dare I go there...a Pine or Evening Grosbeak...would also be great.

My best bird has been, what I'm calling, a female Oregon Junco. I will be submitting a report to the OBRC that is as detailed as I can get to try to have it accepted. I've taken numerous photos now and a couple of rough videos so w/ the right amount of description, hopefully I can finally get an OBRC bird for the Hatt Farm!

Here she is again, iBinned. Unfortunately, w/ the loss of snow cover, she hasn't been at the feeder since January 9. I guess it's time to write and submit the report as I have my doubts I'll see her again. The Oregon subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco was added to the Review List for Southern Ontario in 2012.


Mark F said...

I'm curious about the crows - are they eating seed out of the feeder or just off the ground?

Oh, and are you not counting your Accipiter sp. on the feeder list?

Jeremy Hatt said...

Thanks for pointing out that I was missing the accipiter sp. on my feeder list, Mark.

As for the crows, they started at my feeders on the ground, then made their way to our garbage bags at the end of the road.

Adam Timpf said...

Nice Oregon Junco! Looks great to me. Way more crisp than what I'm tentatively calling a "Pink-sided" female at our feeder.

photo at bottom: