Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My #GBBC Summary

Usually when the Great Backyard Bird Count comes around, I submit checklists for my backyard each day and augment them by visiting some of the local parks and submitting separate checklists to document the birds there. I was all set to participate as usual this year, but at the start of the weekend, I came down with a nasty toothache. To avoid stressing it more than necessary before I could get to a dentist, I stuck to backyard birding this year.

As one might expect, the number of species per checklist was rather small from my short counts, but I feel they were a representative sample of what is normally present at this time of year. One highlight was watching a small flock of robins work their way through the trees around the yard yesterday afternoon. At the same time, two cardinals were singing (on either side), and some of the male House Finches were singing as well. Combined with the mild temperature, it felt very much like spring already.

Even without much participation from me, my town (Highland Park) is eighteenth in species observed and tied for third in the number of checklists submitted among New Jersey localities as of the time I am writing this post. A total of 151 species have been reported from my state, with Common Grackle being the most numerous (followed closely by Snow Goose and Canada Goose) and Mourning Dove the most frequently reported (followed closely by Northern Cardinal). Those numbers will probably change a bit as more species are reported, but they are in line with past years. By the way, if you recorded birds this weekend but have not reported them yet, now is the time to do it. Checklist submissions will be accepted until March 5.