The Great Backyard Bird Count For Camera Critters

by Larry Jordan on February 15, 2009

A Flock Of Finches Gather In An Oak Tree photos by Larry Jordan

So I get up early, as I always do, walk out on the back porch to greet the day for my first counting day of the Great Backyard Bird Count, and what do I see but trees full of birds!  Hundreds of finches do I see!  Lesser Goldfinches, House Finches, Purple Finches and Pine Siskins not only in the trees but flying to and fro in large flocks.

It’s Valentine’s Day and unfortunately I had to work on the first day of the GBBC so I will begin in earnest on this gray, rainy of and on, day of bird watching and counting.  You see I filled up all the bird feeders when I got home from work Friday as they had been ravaged over the past couple of days with the return of cold, wet weather (I’m not complaining, we need the rain)!

I was greeted with lots of loud squawking from a group of nine Steller’s Jays, the most I’ve ever had in my yard at one time.  The jays come in and take over the tray feeder while the smaller, less aggressive birds wait their turn, patiently.

This Golden-crowned Sparrow waited its turn and had a few choice words for the greedy Steller’s Jays.  The Golden-crowns were joined in the tray feeder by Dark-eyed Juncos, House Finches, Purple Finches, Pine Siskins, Lesser Goldfinches and, at one point, a Spotted Towhee.  The finches were primarily feeding at the thistle feeders and the sunflower seed feeders which I had to refill by the end of the day.

I got a visit from one Western Scrub Jay and one American Robin.  Several Mourning Doves always grace my yard, feeding on the ground below the feeders, then flying up into the trees at the first sign of danger.

Other birds of note for my first count day were Anna’s Hummingbird, Oak Titmouse, Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) and White-breasted Nuthatch.

I’m thinking that I have a break in the rain now so I’m goin to go out and see what’s going on today.  Have a wonderful GBBC weekend and I will keep you posted 😉  In the meantime, check out more critters at Camera Critters.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rottlady February 15, 2009 at 9:29 am

Oh you have some wonderful photos here! I love the one of the Steller’s Jays, they are so pretty! It’s great to have so many birds visiting you isn’t it.

Rottladys last blog post..Roofers Don’t Take Sunday Off???


Larry February 15, 2009 at 11:56 am

@Rottlady I felt like I was in an open aviary! I am in heaven 🙂


kallen305 February 15, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Love the picture of the Steller’s Jay. Such colorful birds!

I can’t get over the number of finches you had at one time. I thought I had a lot but nothing even close to that.

Enjoy the rest of the bird count!

kallen305s last blog post..Great Backyard Birdcount-Day of Mishaps


Dancin Fool February 15, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Wow! I have never seen that many finches together and I have never seen anything as unusual and beautiful as the Steller Jays, just awesome!

Thanks for your comment, I am a big pig fan and had heard they were very intelligent and could be trained and live domestically. The sow in the picture was huge and preparing for the arrival of her food!

Dancin Fools last blog post..Camera Critters # 2 – Pigs


Red February 15, 2009 at 5:19 pm

We had very good numbers of finches yesterday, House, Lesser and Purple (as you read) and I was thrilled. It was more than usual. We also were graced with the Yellow-rumped Warbler. The female was being a big fat pig and chasing off all the finches from “her” feeder. No wonder she’s so fat.

I love your scrub jay pic… they are so cute.

Reds last blog post..For my Valentines (you the readers)


ramblingwoods February 15, 2009 at 7:10 pm

What a treat..I have only seen one purple finch at the feeders and not this year. I’ve counted in my yard and had the usual suspects of about 16 species! The cold weather we had (Buffalo NY), followed by gusty rain and then cold again turned my feeders into frozen mush. Chipping oatmeal out of them and then cleaning and drying is a huge task so I keep some cleaned feeders ready. …Michelle


Thomas February 15, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Larry : You seem to have a great first day of GBBC. The sheer variety of birds is incredible.


Larry February 15, 2009 at 11:24 pm

@Kallen thank you for your comment and thank you so much for sharing your mishap day today. I enjoyed it very much.

@Dancin Fool I definitely have finches galore and I agree, the Steller’s Jays are beautiful, even if they are rather noisy

@Red glad you had a good day. Let’s go all out tomorrow

@Michelle it’s nice to have some extra feeders huh? Your weather sounds terrible. Birding in the wind is not much fun.


Rach (Heart of Rachel) February 16, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Thanks for sharing all these lovely bird photos. How nice that you have the privilege of seeing so many wonderful birds. I love the first one. They almost blend with the tree.


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