Saturday, February 13, 2016

GBBC Results!

American Robin

With the windchill at -20 this morning, I decided to stay home and watch birds from my apartment. This weekend is the 19th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, a citizen science project first launched by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society in 1998. Fortunately for me, it was very birdy around my neighborhood this afternoon. Various fruit and berry trees along Deming Way were decorated with hungry American Robins and Cedar Waxwings. The light was good, so I decided to bundle up for some cold-weather digiscoping. At least I didn't have to go far!

Cedar Waxwing

The robins and waxwings seemed a bit more skittish than usual. Startled, the flocks would lift in a rush and fly over to the woods about 100 yards away. After several minutes passed, the birds regained a sense of safety and returned to the fruit trees to resume eating. I eventually discovered the reason for their nervous behavior: there was a Cooper's Hawk perched in a tree just a few dozen yards from where I was standing. Amazingly, while digiscoping the accipiter, a Merlin swooshed in and perched a few trees over. The Merlin didn't stay long. A few minutes after it left, a Red-tailed Hawk flew overhead and that sent the Cooper's Hawk on its way.

Cooper's Hawk


Deer Creek Apartments, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Feb 13, 2016 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
16 species

Cooper's Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Mourning Dove  2
Downy Woodpecker  1
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Merlin  1
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  6
Black-capped Chickadee  3
American Robin  ~200
European Starling  1
Cedar Waxwing  ~500  
Dark-eyed Junco  4
Northern Cardinal  1
House Finch  2
House Sparrow  8

All images © 2016 Mike McDowell

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