Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb. 14, 2014

Rusty Blackbird, Franklin Twp., NJ, Feb. 13, 2014 (photo by Zach Batren).

Rusty Blackbird, Franklin Twp., NJ, Feb. 13, 2014 (photo by Zach Batren).

If one checks eBird reports on a daily basis, a huge spike in activity is seen today which would seem in opposition to the icy, snowy, après-storm, house-bound conditions that many people are experiencing. Look at the locations on the checklists and you will notice most are street addresses or locations labeled as My Backyard. With what seems to be a least a 2 feet snow base and mountainous snow banks throughout the area, feeder watching is a safe intelligent alternative to travel right now. It is also the first day of the
Great Backyard Bird Count. This world-wide endeavor occurs from February 14-17. It is not too late to join in. Information can be found at

As the web site says: “Count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the GBBC. You can count for longer than that if you wish! Count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like—one day, two days, or all four days.”

Here is a report today from Randy Little in Basking Ridge:
Today a male Rusty Blackbird visited our backyard feeders several times from mid-morning until at least early afternoon. It eschewed the elevated feeders for spillings on the ground below, seeming to prefer corn and bits of suet.

An American Robin has been visiting privet bushes near the feeders on a daily basis for the past several days, including early afternoon today.

An adult male Cooper’s Hawk patrols the area most days. Although I have not actually seen him today, I suspect he might have been what scared all the birds from the feeder area shortly after noon. Yesterday he had stopped on a stump near the feeders, giving us a splendid view until he moved on.

Good GBBCing,

As in the picture at the top of this page, you may find a Rusty Blackbird at your feeding station, just like Zach Batren did in Franklin Township during yesterday’s snowstorm.

Happy counting!

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