Thursday, December 18, 2014

Big Day for Wild Bird Rescue

The Big Day for Wild Bird Rescue fundraiser is scheduled for January 1.

This is the 4th Big Day. Teams of birdwatchers will be scouring the countryside, trying to find as many species of birds possible within our Big Day time frame.

Typically a Big Day is 24 hours, but by agreement, we have always opted for a 12-hour window, from 6 AM - 6 PM. Teams map their own routes to try to cover as many different habitats as possible and as much area as possible, hitting all of the known birdy spots in the area.

Although it is possible to get 100 species at this time of year, the record for a single team on the Big Day has been 98 species. Weather plays a big part. We have a tendency to get significant winds, which is not something that helps when you are trying to hear the birds.

If you want to participate, you are welcome to form a team of your own, or contact me at and I will be happy to add you to a team. Although it is helpful if you are a birder, it isn't necessary. We're trying to find as many species as we can, but Wild Bird Rescue also has a mission to educate the public about wild birds, so we welcome novices as well. Besides, more spotters and people to help record species can't hurt.

Can't bird that day? Why not sponsor a team with a donation (Team #1! Team #1!)? You can drop off a check at Wild Bird Rescue or mail one to them at 4611 Lake Shore Dr, Wichita Falls, TX 76310. You can also donate on line at the website. Be sure to indicate Big Day in the memo line of your check or in the comments of your online donation. Or if you contact me at, I will come to you to pick up your donation if you are in Wichita Falls.

Regardless of the number of birds we find, we'll have a great time and (I hope) raise some money for this worthy organization.

Good birding!

Flat Day at Lake Arrowhead State Park

Eastern Phoebe, Photo by Andy Reago and
Chrissy McClarren
Wikimedia Commons
Our monthly bird walk at Lake Arrowhead State Park on December 13 wasn't one of our better months in terms of the birds seen, but hey, a bad morning birding is better than a great morning doing most anything else.

Walk regular, June, came as well as Mike, who has participated the last few months. This month we also had a newcomer, Sharon. It is always extra nice to have people relatively new to birdwatching along as almost any bird is going to be a good bird. We did have a few decent birds, most notably very good views of an eastern phoebe. These often appear fairly drab little birds, but in the right light like we had on Saturday, they are really very pretty.

I was hoping for a lot of ducks so we could work on duck identification, but that didn't work out for us. The only ducks we saw were gadwall. But we did see a nice raft of white pelicans on the water, although further away than I would have liked.

Here's the list of our birds for the morning: Canada goose, gadwall, double crested cormorant, white pelican, ring-billed gull, killdeer, great blue heron, mourning dove, Eurasian collared dove, yellow-shafted northern flicker, red-bellied woodpecker, red-tailed hawk, northern harrier, mockingbird, eastern bluebird, cardinal, Bewick's wren, eastern phoebe, brown-headed cowbird, great-tailed grackle, red-winged blackbird, junco, eastern meadowlark goldfinch, house finch.

The walk next month will be January 10, 8:00 AM.

Good birding!