Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Project Feederwatch Season Nearly Over

I was updating my weekend Project Feederwatch data and noticed that next weekend is the last count for this season. Porject Feederwatch is a citizen science project, sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It's a good, easy project for birders of any age and ability. For home schoolers, this would be a good project to incorporate into your curriculum. For the rest of us, it's just fun. My 5-year-old granddaughter loves to feed the birds and recognizes a few of the species that come to the yard. Maybe in another year or two, she can start taking care of the recordkeeping.

I am always a little saddened by the end of Feederwatch, although I have to admit that since I moved into this house a few years ago, it also lessens my frustration level.
Male house finch, a regular at my feeders
Photo: Maria Carcacas/Project Feederwatch

This was my 19th season counting birds at my feeders. My frustration has been the lack of diversity in the birds at my feeder. This year was a little better from the point of view that on a few non-count days, I did have some nice birds in my yard. But if it weren't for white-winged doves and Eurasian collared doves, it would be pretty sparse in the bird count arena.

I think a lot of my problem is that my neighbors don't have good habitat for a variety of birds, nor do they feed birds. The yards are not huge. I have been working on my yard, adding food plants for the birds, insects, and my family. It takes a while for all of those to take hold and grow, but we're getting there. That is probably why I am beginning to see a few nice birds, even if I can't record them for this project. So, I'll keep plugging along.

I have some birding friends that also participate in Project Feederwatch. They live in a different part of town, with neighbors who feed and watch birds--they have awesome sightings. I am always jealous. But we do what we can, where we can.

I renewed my Project Feederwatch for next season. Maybe my 20th anniversary year will be "the year" my gardening work will pay off.  Why not take part in Project Feederwatch at your house next season? The season runs from November 11 to April 6 and the registration is inexpensive.

Good birding!