Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Great Backyard Bird Count

I'm getting ready to participate in the 19th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) that starts this week on Friday, February 12 through Monday, February 15, 2016.

What you do is to count birds in your yard for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as you'd like) on one or more days of the four-day event and report your sightings online at www.birdcount.org

You can participate from anywhere in the world.  Submissions help researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing and how to protect them and the environment we all share.  

The male Painted Bunting above, is a regular visitor to my backyard during the winter months here in south Florida.  I can never get enough of seeing their incredible beauty flitting around the yard.

The female Painted Bunting (aka greenies) get a bit cheated in the color department when compared to the males, but I think their beautiful greens are exceptionally pretty. 

This could possibly be an immature male that hasn't developed his colors yet, but I'm not sure how to tell them apart from the females at this point.  That is something I'm definitely going to make a point of learning about!

Another shot of the Greenie Painted Bunting.  She's got her beak full of suet.  Sometimes I see them at the sunflower seed feeder and I'm always rather surprised since their favorite white millet seed is always available in the yard.  It's always interesting and fun to observe bird behavior.

The Catbird is another favorite wintertime visitor.  I love the goofy calls he makes.  And yes, he does sound a bit like a cat.

If you happened to read my previous post, you'll know who this is and who it isn't.  It's unfortunately not Chirpy the Cardinal, but the young hotshot that took over his territory.  He is a handsome devil though.  Guess I should give him a name...any suggestions?

Just one more bird photo, this one is of the female cardinal.  She was in the shadows and I lightened this up quite a bit, but it's still dark.  

It was a bit cooler weather today and all the bird feeders were full.  Even the squirrels managed to hop on this one.  It's easy access for them though, since it's by the branches.  Oh, I don't mind - they like some chow once in awhile too!