Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NJ Great Backyard Bird Count Notes

Well, the Great Backyard Bird Count has more or less come to an end. Please continue entering your sightings if you haven't already. As the count reviewer in NJ, I get to see some interesting observations. Here are some highlights from this year here in NJ:

  • 160 species recorded. We had 163 last year. Someone counted the Monk Parakeets in Edgewater which wasn't done the last 2 years.

  • Tons of Pine Siskins all over the state (except in MY yard!)

  • 81 White-winged Crossbills - definitely a record in the years recorded online. The previous high count was 4!

  • A well-known birder found an Atlantic Puffin from Barnegat Light State Park - pretty cool!

  • Other rarities included Cackling Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Barrow's Goldeneye, Eared Grebe, American Bittern, Black-headed Gull, Glaucous Gull, Rufous Hummingbird, and Bohemian Waxwing

  • Last year NJ was #1 in individual birds thanks to some BIG counts of Snow Geese in south Jersey. This year, we are #8. Those same counts of Snow Geese were not reported this year.

  • Six species of owls including Snowy

  • As opposed to past years, several of the "Red-headed Woodpecker" sightings turned out to actually be Red-headed Woodpeckers!

  • Someone reported a Northern Goshawk, which is always a nice find in winter. I emailed the person to confirm it. Sure enough, she sent me pics of a gorgeous adult bird from her yard.

  • Several sightings of Baltimore Orioles - one person told me how they love to feed it grape jelly all year long. Wintering Baltimore Orioles at feeders are an annual occurrence. You never know when one might be a Bullock's and the viewer just doesn't know better.

  • Personally, I had seen a Belted Kingfisher in the retention pond near my house the last 2 years. No luck this year.

Fun times! Thanks to everyone who participated. What observations did you make about your state?

8 comments:

Kiggavik said...

All of the Nunavut checklists reported seeing Ravens. Total species reported for Nunavut 1.

My community (Arctic Bay) was top of the count in Raven numbers reported for awhile, but was overtaken by a community in BC.

Erica Mueller said...

I too thought I was the only person in NJ to NOT have pine siskins at my feeder, but on the day I wanted to do my own GBBC in my yard, six showed up!!! I think they knew...haha. Now there are more everyday. Hope all is well with you Pat!

OpposableChums said...

A puffin?!?

Owlman said...

I was one of the lucky who found WWC in NJ. I spent time looking for Saw whet and Long eared owls in my area and although I found pellets, I didn't find their owners. A raucous Blue Jay led me to a Screech owl roosting spot, but the owl was snuggled tucked deep in the hole so it didn't count as an owl although he/she was somewhere in there. I scouted the Red tailed hawk nests in the area, but again I struck out on Great horned owl. Not a productive owling day, but definitely a fantastic morning spent out in nature. As they say: “A bad day of fishing beats a good day at work!”

PS: Where were all the Red headed woodpeckers when I was looking for them??

kat said...

Sorry, I haven't been counting the birds this year!

But I have been feeding feeding feeding them!

btw, Pine Siskins are plentiful here in metro Atlanta with me.

kat said...

Great title of course for your blog... but I am tickled pink to read the subtitle!

I am going to enjoy browsing here!

Pat O'Donnell said...

Rufous Hummingbird, Baltimore Orioles and Atlantic Puffin; pretty cool birds for February in NJ!

Anonymous said...

i have one huge tree in my front window i sit and watch all the birds feed i took some pictures of them i have red birds beautiful cardinals i few woodpeckers red on its head like stripe on his back do they harm my tree? oh so many birds feed on the my feeders and suet i love them all.