Cold, wet, sunless days and barren grey-brown landscapes, despite both the calendar and my six-year-old son repeatedly telling me that fall doesn’t officially end until next week. Looking at , I think winter is already coming. This is not a complaint per se. I consider myself lucky to live in an area where the four seasons are distinctly different, but the cold temperatures and lack of sunlight during this time of the year require conducting outdoors. The activity is a challenge to say the least. For anyone else who may be battling a bit of cabin fever in the colder months ahead, finding something to get your body outside, or at least directing your attention to the outdoors, will help you get through the time it takes for spring to pass. can be made a little faster.
One of the easiest ways to do this is winter bird watching. Also, one of the easiest ways to introduce you and your family to bird watching is to place a feeder or two in sight of a window you frequently see. You may technically still be inside, but the spectacle of cardinals, finches, jankos and woodpeckers flying around feeding on sunflower seeds and sweatcakes can provide a much-needed distraction during the winter slump. But once a bird bites, what started with one feeder and a simple seed mix turns into an addictive hobby with multiple feeding stations, different food offerings, and mountains of field guides. Note that it is possible. Feeding bug!
If you can relate to the last sentence and are already aware that eyeballing bird feeders is part of your daily or weekly ritual, you might be interested in turning your pastime into a scientific contribution. No. There are two citizen science initiatives primarily coordinated by the Cornell Institute for Ornithology. These focus on identifying and reporting birds visiting residential feeders throughout North America and beyond.
The first of these, the Great Backyard Bird Count, will compile distribution and population data based on online submissions from the public during a four-day window in February when feeder activity approaches its activity. Created in 1998 as a project aimed at peak. Participation in the Great Backyard Bird Count is free, and observers can enter their sightings through his traditional website or using the Merlin or eBird apps on mobile devices. A second initiative, Project FeederWatch, stands in line with many other citizen science initiatives in that it asks for a small annual entry fee to help maintain the online database and provides optional identification materials and posters. is a different year-round business.
If you really want to get out and be with the birds, the upcoming Christmas Bird Count at Audubon is a good reason to shed your parka, put on your warm boots, and team up with a dedicated local birder. maybe. Because I try to observe and count as many birds as possible in a day. The Christmas Bird Count is an event that he has held annually for over 120 years and, as the name suggests, usually takes place on the last day of his December. An individual or team of bird-watching enthusiasts will work with her count coordinator to scrutinize a selected geographical area on a specified date and report their findings on the number and species of birds spotted. Ohio is home to approximately 70 licensed Christmas bird counts, including local birds based in Lancaster, Buckeye Lake and Hocking Hills. If you are interested in participating in one of these counts, search for Audubon Christmas Bird Counts online and an interactive map will show you bird counts in your area and provide information to register. , or contact the coordinator for more information. detail.
The Lancaster Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for Saturday, December 31st and the Hocking Hills Count for Sunday, December 18th.
Tommy Springer is a wildlife and education specialist for the Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District.