I spent about an hour at Barber Park, just east of Boise and along the Boise River. Hoping for Bald Eagles, but just a little late in the season for them. Better looking for them in December and January. But I did see a variety of things: this guy fishing, Red-Tail hawk, raccoon tracks, Great Blue Heron and a beautiful Bohemian Waxwing. The Red-Winged Blackbirds were singing, too.
A good day for this short walk. Light winds and temperature about 58 degrees. Maybe one of these days I will get up early enough so I can be there at about 8 am. Better sightings at that time. But for now, enjoy these photos and Left-Click any of them to see them enlarged. Keep Looking Up!
Watching the Boise downtown Peregrine Falcon eyasses. By this time, there may be three that have hatched today. I have only seen two, but several reports of watching an egg hatch. And here is the definition of eyas or the plural, eyasses.
Definition of EYAS
: an unfledged bird; specifically : a nestling hawk
Origin of EYAS
Middle English, alteration (by incorrect division of a neias) of neias, from Anglo-French niais taken in the nest, from Vulgar Latin *nidax nestling, from Latin nidus nest — more at nest
First Known Use: 15th century [New Merriam Webster Dictionary]
So while watching on a mobile device, I am also watching for the humming birds and the American Goldfinch at our backyard feeders. Good luck today. I caught a House Finch with an attitude and a beautiful American Goldfinch. Look at these photos – Left-Click to see enlarged – and Keep Looking Up! Cheers and good sightings. Please VOTE above. Thanks.
While we are waiting for the Boise Downtown Falcons to hatch – actually somewhere probably around the first week in May – I thought I would post some of the visitors that we have in our backyard and ones that keep the Sharp-Shinned Hawk fed. Here is an English Sparrow. Below are a few more species. Enjoy and cast your VOTE above. Thanks.
Mourning Dove. These guys have been around all winter.
Black-capped Chickadee. Robin heard one several days ago and now we have actually seen one flitting from branch to branch.
So there you have some of our “visitors”. Keep Looking Up!
Here is a post from the Great Backyard Bird Count. These are amazing numbers!
Bird Watchers Take the GBBC to New Heights
The numbers tell the story. With its new global reach, the 16th annual Great Backyard Bird Count becomes the largest worldwide bird count ever! As of today:
25.6+ Million birds
That species total represents nearly one-third of the bird species in the entire world. Bird watchers in the U.S. and Canada set new national records for tallies submitted. Reports have come in from as far away as Antarctica and Afghanistan. So far, 30 states and 3 provinces have set new records for checklist entries. Here are the top ten countries by checklists submitted so far:
Japanese Green Woodpecker by Masami Yoshimura, 2013 GBBC
United States 107,538
United Kingdom 84
Puerto Rico 79
Other Preliminary Results:
Top 5 Most Reported Species (reported on highest number of checklists): Northern Cardinal; Dark-eyed Junco; Mourning Dove; Downy Woodpecker; House Finch
Top 5 Most Common Birds (most individuals reported): Snow Goose; Canada Goose; Red-winged Blackbird; European Starling; American Coot
Finch Invasion: A massive number of northern finch species moved into the U.S. including the Common Redpoll, reported in a record 36 states. Scientists believe these periodic movements are related to natural fluctuations in crops of conifer cones and other seeds in Canada.
Hurricane Sandy: The weather system that caused Sandy’s landfall also blew some European birds to North America and evidence of this is still showing up in GBBC results. The colorful, crested Northern Lapwing was reported in Georgia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts during the GBBC.
GBBC First: A Red-flanked Bluetail has wintered at Queens Park, Vancouver, and was also reported for the GBBC’s first record ever. This British Columbia bird has been drawing bird watchers from all over the U.S. and Canada hoping to see this rarity. This little thrush is one of the only birds in the world with a striking blue tail and is native to Asia; the other GBBC report of this species this year was from Japan.
A more extensive summary of the results will be published on the website in March after scientists at Audubon, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Bird Studies Canada have a chance to review the reports.
Here is a direct link to the GBBC Web Site. You can also find a link in the sidebar. Enjoy and Keep Looking Up!
Here is an event that I think most readers of this blog will be interested in attending. I want to direct your attention to the new Boise Bird Festival site at Boise Bird Festival Site and let you know this is an exciting event. Hope you can attend. The site is maintained by Robert Mortensen and Roberto Martinez. I have placed a permanent link in the sidebar.
Don’t forget to look in the sidebar of this blog for my book, Common Birds Found In Boise, available for purchase online. The book makes a great coffee table book and is 20 pages with 30 photographs of birds I have photographed here in Boise and the surrounding area. Enjoy!
It has been a pretty good 4 days this year for the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), at least in our area of Boise. And I know, the Squirrel pictured here is not even a Flying Squirrel. But he did visit us. Many times. Enjoy these photos of some of the birds that we have seen during this event. Left-Click any of these photos to see enlarged. Keep Looking Up!
Black-Eyed Junco (Oregon Race)
When you look at these birds enlarged, it sure does emphasize their colors and their markings. Cheers!
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is halfway through an amazing wekend of counting the birds in your backyard or neighborhood or just about any place. We have been counting in our backyard. I just received this report from the GBBC at Cornell. Looks like there have been some really busy folks!
GBBC Soars Around the World
We’re a little more than halfway through one of the biggest bird counts in the world, and we’re seeing great participation from the U.S. and Canada as well as from far-flung regions of the world. Thanks to everyone who has been counting with us—please keep the checklists coming!
Number of Countries Reporting Checklists: 75
Top 5 Countries with the Most Checklists Reported:
United States (28,949)
Top 10 Countries with the Most Species Reported:
United States (609—approaching last year’s U.S./Canada total of 623!)
Costa Rica (187)
Great Britain (117)
Top Species Reported by the Most Countries:
House Sparrow—31 (All continents but Africa and Antarctica)
Rock Pigeon (26)
Great Egret (20)
Cattle Egret (17)
European Starling (17)
Eurasian Blackbird (15)
Great Cormorant (15)
Black Vulture (14)
Great Tit (14)
Turkey Vulture (14)
Eurasian Collared-Dove (13)
Gray Heron (13)
Great Kiskadee (13)
Species with the Most Individual Birds Reported:
Snow Goose (4,224,536)
Top 5 Birds Reported on the Most Checklists:
Northern Cardinal (14,060)
Mourning Dove (12,282)
Dark-eyed Junco (12,057)
Downy Woodpecker (10,043)
House Finch (9,504)
Yup! It’s that time of year again. Watch and count the birds in your backyard and be a participant in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s nationwide bird count. You can get more information by following This Link to the official page. I will also keep a link in the sidebar for your use. This can be a lot of fun and you will be surprised at the number and the varieties of birds that frequent your feeders and yard. Cheers and Keep Looking Up!
The Boise downtown peregrine falcons are doing fine. They are doing their “avian thing” – being elusive and incubating their eggs. In the meantime, American Goldfinches have come back to our feeders. There is this male and I just saw a female at the feeder. Good to see them. I have not seen any Hummingbirds at their feeder. I usually have very few if any. Enjoy and Keep Looking Up!