Sunday, May 23, 2021

Not Exactly The Perfect eBirder!

This female Bobolink was entered onto eBird and was my first of the year.

I use eBird all the time to find out what species I haven't seen for the year, to see what others have been seeing in my area, and to keep track of my county list (and where I rank).

I wonder what she was doing here as she pulled her head back to her neck that way?

The thing about eBird is you have all sorts of people entering data. Some just randomly enter a sighting because they feel like it and include very little accompanying information. Others try to get an exact count of every single bird they see and include all sorts of details about each species they see. I imagine these are the same sort of people that take a notebook to the gym to keep a record of each exercise they perform and the number of sets and repetitions. That's something I never found the ambition for.

Eastern Kingbird
I am somewhere in between. I don't have the concentration level to keep track of every single bird  I see so I estimate. I do a tally in my head- something like-I'm pretty sure I saw about 4 cardinals? I am careful not to enter any sightings that I'm not confident about, especially if it is a rare or unusual sighting. 

I enter for most places I go but if I don't see anything new at a popular location that I was recently at, I might skip the list altogether. I do like to enter a sightings list for new places that no one seems to visit. To me, that is the most interesting data and I also like to read others entries of new places.

So I'm not exactly the perfect eBirder but there is interesting and helpful information that you can obtain using eBird so I will continue to enter data as often as I feel comfortable with.  Maybe when I'm retired I'll try to be a little more thorough.

Monday, May 17, 2021

What's The Big Deal About Spring Migration?

If you ask a birder what their favorite time of year is probably spring would be the most popular because of spring migration. So what's the big deal about the spring migration?   
Every spring neotropical migrants travel thousands of miles to reach their spring destination. Some are just passing though and some are here for the nesting season. You won't see most of these birds at your feeders too often. They are high in the trees and sometimes low in the brush in areas that have the proper habitat.

Many of them are very colorful with intricate patterns like the Prairie Warbler seen above.
You might attract a Scarlet Tanager with  halved oranges, raisins or mealworms on a platform feeder if you're lucky. They'll also visit a birdbath. Orioles seem more abundant so you might have better luck attracting them with grape jelly or oranges.
Besides the colorful, bird there is another thing that appeals to birders in the spring. Some of these warblers present a challenge to find. The Cerulean Warbler seen here is an endangered species in Connecticut and not easy to find. it seems to me that their numbers have increased a little recently.

So if you have a pair of binoculars you might want to break them out and start checking out the treetops early in the morning. You might be surprised at what you find! 


Friday, May 7, 2021

Birds Don't Care If Ponds Look Pretty

Whenever I stop at the gas station or store I look at the old factor pond across the road. The water is not pretty there. It looks brown and dirty. I wouldn't swim in it and I certainly wouldn't drink it. 
Birds, on the other hand, don't care about all that. I've seen many cool birds near the dingy little pond.
Birds don't judge their habitat by how pretty it looks so neither should we. We can let the birds themselves provide the beauty!