11-24-10 backyard bird count..

820am…37F…Rain…no new sightings

Finally, some rain!! I was out of town this past weekend and I didn’t do much of a count Monday or Tuesday. I noticed activity spiking, though, on Monday when it also rained. But, today was a different story…

I heard all the chatter this morning. My House Finches were going crazy at the feeders. I also heard the “pip-pip” of my Cardinals around the same time. I literally just sat in bed for awhile and just listened to them fuss at the feeders. I knew it was too dark to take any pictures, but I did want to see just how many were making all the noise. When I popped open the shade, they scattered. But, quickly returned. There were quite a few finches, juncos, and ETSparrows. When I came back with my pad of paper…

I peeked between the curtains and saw a male and female House Finch pair right there on my window sill getting out of the rain. I was about 6 inches from them. They looked at me. I looked at them. It was like a Mexican Standoff…who would flinch first? I was trying to motion my youngest son, Chris, over to the window, but Chris never does anything quietly. He came running over, jumped on the bed, and about gave the little birds a coronary! I don’t think they flew off; I think they fell about 3 feet before they even opened their wings. But, here is what I “officially” saw..

12 House Finches…yes, 12, and possibly more
5 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 Northern Cardinals
4 Eurasian Tree Sparrows
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

All in about 15 minutes. But, I will tell you this… I expect the feeders to be very busy today. No, not because it’s the day before Thanksgiving, but because it’s very raw and cold and wet outside. Overcast days always seem to produce better midday activity than sunny days, and cold rain on top of that will ensure the birds probably don’t want to go looking very hard for a meal. That wet may make them work a little harder at staying warm, but I don’t know. I just know I seem to notice more constant activity on these types of days instead of the normal “rushes” of activity I get on sunny days. Keep Chuggin’.

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