Monday, February 2, 2009

New Month, New Birds, New Poll

What a wonderful weekend for birding in southern Utah; I've now added 16 new species to my life list, for a total of 69 different birds that I can definitively say I've been privileged to observe. The new arrivals are:
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Great Blue Heron
  • American Wigeon
  • Wood Duck
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Black Crowned Night Heron
  • Canvasback
  • Common Raven
  • Greater Roadrunner
  • Red Tailed Hawk
  • Pied Billed Grebe
  • Burrowing Owl
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Wilson's Snipe
  • Abert's Towhee
  • Bald Eagle

Many of these species I've actually observed before, but not been able to spot enough of their unique characteristics for a sure and confident identification -- though the wood ducks were by far the easiest to identify due to their bright colors and distinctive markings. I also saw many species already on my list, including mourning doves, lesser goldfinches, mallards, mute swans, Eurasian collared doves, American robins, white crowned sparrows, golden eagles, and more. It was a true treat to spend the weekend in the field, and I can't recommend such an experience highly enough for any birder. I will share more thoughts on the St. George Winter Bird Festival later this week.

As it is now a new month, it is also time for a new poll. The January poll results proved that the majority of birders who visit here prefer to birdwatch in their own backyard, so this month let's see what number of feeders is most common. I have six feeders currently filled, though I'll have eight or more in the summer months. What about your backyard feeding stations? Share your totals in the poll or the comments!


Wisconsin Birder said...

Great poll question! I have five feeders right now but that will change to eight in spring when the hummingbird and oriole feeders go up.

Larry said...

Hey Melissa,

It looks like you had an awesome trip to St. George with that extensive list! The Wood Ducks are gorgeous aren't they? The drake just looks as if someone painted on him.

I have a dozen feeders up in my yard at present and more during the non-winter months. Life is good!

Neil said...

Really beautiful bird.

Melissa said...

Wisconsin Birder - I do plan on putting up even more feeders this year; I'm looking at building at least two new feeding stations, plus adding feeders to the front yard so I can see them from my office window. The more the merrier!

Melissa said...

Larry - Yes, life is very good! The trip was spectacular, and I'm already planning to go again next year so I can participate in some of the field trips I wasn't able to make this past weekend. I just might travel to another birding festival or two this year, but who knows.

Melissa said...

Thanks, Neil! Normally my camera isn't quite so nice, but when the birds come right up to you anyone can get stellar pictures. I'll be posting more soon -- be sure to check back!

Kyle said...

Nice shot of the wood duck pair. It sounds like you had a pretty good outing!

Melissa said...

Thanks Kyle; it was a fabulous trip and I can't wait for next year's festival. There were so many field trips I didn't get to go on (overlapping with other trips and presentations), that I'm sure there's plenty more to see!