Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Backyard bird count numbers

Like I said the other day, we decided to participated in this year's Great Backyard Bird Count. My son kept the tally, from the Gilbert Riparian Preserve:

Great-tailed grackle: 13
Mallard duck: 22
Ring-necked duck: 9
American coot: 3
Black-necked stilt: 4
Red-winged blackbird: 14
Yellow-headed blackbird: 2
House sparrow: 5
Hybrid duck of some kind: 2
Great egret: 4
Northern mockingbird: 1
Anna's hummingbird: 6
Pin-tailed duck: 2
Canada goose: 21
White-crowned sparrow: 6
Mourning dove: 2
Great blue heron: 1
Northern cardinal: 1

We stopped counting somewhere around there, because he found a bush positively packed with hummingbirds. He sat beside the bush as still as possible and just waited, a "Jane Goodall but with hummingbirds," he said. They began to surround him like buzzing, hovering emeralds, and we paused -- a moment of peace within a momentary respite. Citizen science for the win, y'all.

Some of the birds from our count (sadly, I can't include "hybrid duck of some kind," but the rest are in):
Great egret

American coot

Anna's hummingbird

Bonus heron, with fish (or ex-fish)

Red-winged blackbird

Black-necked stilt

Canada goose

Did any of you participate? Tell me what you saw! If, like me, you put things off until the last minute, remember to get over to the site and post your results today at the latest.

Expect to see some more of these guys in coming days/weeks/months. I'm starting a new project (I started just after midnight, but I'm considering it February 28 because it was still before bed for me). For as long as I can, I'm posting a photograph of a different Arizona species every day. Hopefully animals, for as long as I can keep it up. After each week, I'll collect the photos here for a critter post. That's in addition to my usual mucking around and animal shenanigans. What do you think? Any animals you'd particularly like to see?