GBBC Part 2

The last two days were a little less uneventful in terms of places visited.  On Sunday (Feb 15th) I only birded around church and at home.  On Monday (Feb 16th) I only birded around home.  However, a snow/ice storm that came in Sunday night made things rather eventful here in Arkansas.

Sunday had only a few yard birds to speak of.  Much of the same were seen and nothing was added to the count from home. I went down to church in Pine Bluff and saw only a few more species.  I added a Red-headed Woodpecker to the count total.  There were several species of woodpeckers in open woodlands: Red-headed, Red-bellied, and Downy were the main ones.  There was a nice flock of Red-winged Blackbirds foraging at the forest edge near the church.

I woke up Monday morning to a lovely scene.  There was a few inches of accumulated snow/ice on the ground and the birds were flocking to the feeders.  Its always fun to watch the birds during times of inclement weather.  Their behavior is similar to humans in that they flock to a convenient food source.  During these times I like to try and hand-feed some of the birds because they lose a lot of inhibitions towards humans.  I have been able to hand-feed Juncos, Pine Warblers, and Tufted Titmice in the past.  This year was unsuccessful but I did come close.  When I first looked out into the hordes I saw three birds that aren’t common winter visitors:  Brown-headed Cowbirds.  These birds will be the most prevalent bird at the feeders during the spring and early summer months but seem to disappear during the winter.  Some other species that were present that only show up during times of bad weather are: Fox Sparrows, Brown Thrashers, and Eastern Towhees.  We had all but the towhees.  The Red-bellied Woodpeckers came in large numbers which is unusual.  During one of my forays into the cold, I noticed the birds were jumpy.  I figured that there was a hawk nearby but never saw it.  Towards the end of my outdoors stay, the birds all took off into hiding as I watched a Red-shouldered Hawk fly into the yard.  It landed in a tall hickory and flushed a much smaller hawk, the Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Our yard usually plays host to a Sharp-shinned Hawk each winter.  I had not seen a Sharpie until this one.  The Sharpies are our smallest hawk (the males are only slightly larger than a Blue Jay) but are the biggest threat to our small feeder birds.  The hawks were scared off when I got up but they will both be back because our yard is too good of an opportunity to pass up.

White-throated Sparrow with American Goldfinch (foreground)

White-throated Sparrow with American Goldfinch (foreground)

American Goldfinch in nonbreeding plumage

American Goldfinch in nonbreeding plumage

Chipping Sparrow in nonbreeding plumage

Chipping Sparrow in nonbreeding plumage

It was a good count in all with a nice snow day being the cherry on top.

Here’s the list:

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Mallard
  3. Northern Shoveler
  4. Gadwall
  5. Lesser Scaup
  6. Bufflehead
  7. Common Goldeneye
  8. Pied-billed Grebe
  9. Common Loon
  10. Red-throated Loon
  11. American White Pelican
  12. Double-crested Cormorant
  13. Great Blue Heron
  14. Turkey Vulture
  15. Black Vulture
  16. Bald Eagle
  17. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  18. Red-shouldered Hawk
  19. Red-tailed Hawk
  20. Killdeer
  21. Bonaparte’s Gull
  22. Ring-billed Gull
  23. Herring Gull
  24. Rock Pigeon
  25. Mourning Dove
  26. Barred Owl
  27. Belted Kingfisher
  28. Red-headed Woodpecker
  29. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  30. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  31. Downy Woodpecker
  32. Northern Flicker
  33. American Kestrel
  34. Eastern Phoebe
  35. Blue Jay
  36. American Crow
  37. Tufted Titmouse
  38. Carolina Chickadee
  39. White-breasted Nuthatch
  40. Brown-headed Nuthatch
  41. Winter Wren
  42. Carolina Wren
  43. Golden-crowned Kinglet
  44. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  45. Eastern Bluebird
  46. American Robin
  47. Hermit Thrush
  48. Northern Mockingbird
  49. Brown Thrasher
  50. European Starling
  51. Cedar Waxwing
  52. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  53. Pine Warbler
  54. Eastern Towhee
  55. Field Sparrow
  56. Chipping Sparrow
  57. Vesper Sparrow
  58. Savannah Sparrow
  59. Le Conte’s Sparrow
  60. Fox Sparrow
  61. Song Sparrow
  62. Swamp Sparrow
  63. White-throated Sparow
  64. Dark-eyed Junco
  65. Northern Cardinal
  66. Red-winged Blackbird
  67. Rusty Blackbird
  68. Eastern Meadowlark
  69. Common Grackle
  70. Brown-headed Cowbird
  71. House Finch
  72. American Goldfinch

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