Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Great Backyard Bird Count- After the Count

How many of you all participated in this year's backyard bird count? We love the bird count! We are always watching for the birds and this gives us a chance to quantify our observations. We decided to build a little feeder and we observed. But where were all the birds? This is a great mystery because the birds were just hiding out. I think we counted three birds!

We made a milk jug bird feeder which has turned out to be a huge disappointment. We haven't seen one bird visiting this feeder. The kids think the perching opportunity is not attractive to the birds. I say others must use these if they have directions for them on the internet! Right?!

The prepared feeder

Do you think it could be the bungee cord they don't like? That snow in the background was there before the new snow fell...just so you know!
We did not turn in our results to the GBBC. We'll try again next year. I did mention yesterday that our non-wintering cardinal family has returned along with the red-winged black birds. That call just warms your heart! And we were enjoying it immensely before our 19 inches of snow fell. We have not seen the robins yet. If they are here, they are wondering why they arrived so early!

We have a walk scheduled at the Lab of Ornithology on Friday morning. Looks like there will be snow on the ground still. One of the things I really like doing once all the results are in is a little graphing with my kids. Keep checking back at the GBBC site for this year's results or simply use results from a previous year and have your kids graph the numbers of bird species spotted this year. Hopefully, we'll see the raw data for this year. That is how they used to post it, but I notice there are graphs where once there was just data. I suppose if we can't construct a graph, then we'll just have to interpret it!


Tessa said...

If you pick up a couple dowels and push them through the jug, one each way, the birds will have a perch to sit on. They seem to like a little thicker one to grasp. You might want to try a second hole as well so they don't feel 'trapped' if they go inside.

Tracey said...

We have never had any luck with the milk carton bird feeders.

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather, we had the best luck with a $6 platform feeder from WalMart! You may be familiar with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website? If not, I can't rave enough about it.... WEALTH of info, instructional videos, audio, free downloadable bird coloring book, a Feeder Watch Project. We are now passionate birders!
LA Jenn

Anonymous said...

Heather, I am laughing at myself! Had I more thoroughly read the article, I'd have seen you know about Cornell, you obviously live nearby!! I should have known nothing escapes your eagle eye....Ha ha, thanks so much for all the great blogs!
LA Jenn

Tammy said...

We made a feeder using a soda bottle and wooden spoons from the GBBC site. The birds love it!

Heather said...

Hmmm Tammy...a wooden spoon. I'll think on that! Thank you for all your suggestions! We'll try to make some modifications starting with getting some wire to replace Dan's bungee cord.

LA Jenn...I was thinking that maybe you hadn't read my post when you suggested the Lab of O's website. ha Thank you so much for reading!