Christmas Bird Count

Jen5200

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I love putting up nest boxes - our fish and wildlife department gave us wood duck boxes a couple of years ago which we put up, and I have another to put up this month. We have a huge population of barn swallows that nest in the roof of our shop, and share the space with our little bats. Fish and wildlife stopped by and dropped off some bat houses to put up this winter as well since we have a healthy population on our property. I’m trying to move them out of the shop roof over time. I have tree swallows that nest in houses in the yard as well. Pics of a few of my favorite residents, just because I love watching them in the yard.
 

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Laurasea

Laurasea

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You do have flickers!!!!!! Soooo awesome. I love pileated woodpeckers! Wonderful to hear of your nest boxes!!! So many new birds and ducks alive because you have them a place to nest. :)
 
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Jen5200

Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2017
1,874
Media
23
Albums
2
214
Washington State
Parrots
Baby - Sun Conure;
Tango - GCC;
Bindi - Sun Conure;
Stanley - Pineapple GCC;
Screamer “Scree� - Cockatiel;
Tee - Pineapple GCC; Jimmy - Cockatiel
That is an easy-to-build plan - thanks! I’ll try to build at least one and put it up this winter - a good holiday season project. Looks like I could probably only put one or two up (330 ft distance between nests). I know I have at least one nesting pair close by, because I see young ones every year with their parents foraging in the yard.
 
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Laurasea

Laurasea

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Jenn you are so great!!!
Here is link about bluebird nest boxes. Carolina Chickadees and tufted titmouse, and wrens will also use this size bird nest box. So it's always good to put up several, even if you have limited size yard. As the same species need a set space between best boxes but different species are happy to use a nestboxs near eachother.

Nest boxes are used during the winter too! Bluebirds like to pile in together to stay warm. My Carolina wrens also use their nest box when weather is bad.
https://michiganbluebirds.org/nest-boxes/nestbox-basics

You can buy a bluebird nest box at Walmart for about 10 bucks and get an electrical conduit pipe at home Depot for around 5 bucks and pick op carriage bolt and a c clamp , eazy peezy! I like the pole very easy to hammer I to the ground, can be moved easy if you need to, helps keep our snakes , but adding a predator gaurd is a good idea I think I used a metal drier hook up .
 
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Jen5200

Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2017
1,874
Media
23
Albums
2
214
Washington State
Parrots
Baby - Sun Conure;
Tango - GCC;
Bindi - Sun Conure;
Stanley - Pineapple GCC;
Screamer “Scree� - Cockatiel;
Tee - Pineapple GCC; Jimmy - Cockatiel
I know that we don’t have bluebirds here - I’m right on the western coast (like 2 miles from the water), but we do have many other birds of similar size that would use that size of box. Every bird house I’ve put up is occupied.....so I’m pretty sure they’ll get used :). I think that will be my winter project for this year - tree planting and installing more bird/bat houses. My heated hummingbird feeders are up, as I do have a resident Anna’s population here year-round.
 
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Laurasea

Laurasea

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Jenn that's so great!
Like you , the more bird houses I put up , the more birds that move in! I think I have less than half an acre and I out a blue bird house at each corner all four are always occupied. Then I added more and got Carolina Chickadees and tufted titmouse. Then Carolina wrens were always hanging out on my wreath above my door. So I out a bird house with a large opening then hung the wreath in front of it. The wrens live there year round, and have raised lots of babies. I hung bird houses in my fences and house wrens moved in. The big nest box is used by the greater crested fly catchers. I'm thinking of adding an owl nest box as a psir visits my yard at night. So much land has recently been developed around me, they cleared enough to add 40, ooo houses!!! So I'm afraid were ever they were nesting is gone :(
I'm trying to figure out how to provide for chimney Swift's... They need help... I know if a pair that lives in a freind chimney as she has the very old-fashioned kind, and has kept it just for the Swift's.

Prothonotary Warbler will use a nest box, they are so beautiful,! I've seen one, but I'm not sure they are using my nest boxes
A list of birds that use birdhouse or nest boxs , not complete as red bellied wood peckers, greater crested fly catchers also use nest boxes.
https://www.songbirdgarden.com/store/info/infoview.asp?documentid=166
 
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Laurasea

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The American Kestrel needs help too! Martha Stewart show recently had a biologist on who talked about the need for best boxes for them.
Bird Survey since 1966 suggest that populations of breeding kestrels have declined 47% across North America, with declines as steep as 88% in the New England region. The time to study and conserve the American Kestrel is before it reaches threatened or endangered status, and now you can help.
http://nemesisbird.com/bird-science/help-study-and-conserve-american-kestrels/

Nest box plans and info
https://nestwatch.org/learn/all-about-birdhouses/birds/american-kestrel/
 
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Laurasea

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Heated hummingbird feeder?!?! Who knew ! I'm learning from you zJenn! I had a Rufus hummingbird visit my red buckeye trees and took pictures to the county extension office to share, as they hoast bird and native plant education classes for free!! Sometimes give trees and plants and bird houses away too!! Also free soil tests, help with disease in trees and more!
https://pickyourown.org/countyextensionagentoffices.htm

Chimney Swift's info
https://mercury.postlight.com/amp?url=https://nc.audubon.org/news/build-your-own-chimney-swift-tower
 
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Jen5200

Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2017
1,874
Media
23
Albums
2
214
Washington State
Parrots
Baby - Sun Conure;
Tango - GCC;
Bindi - Sun Conure;
Stanley - Pineapple GCC;
Screamer “Scree� - Cockatiel;
Tee - Pineapple GCC; Jimmy - Cockatiel
Heated hummingbird feeder?!?! Who knew ! I'm learning from you zJenn! I had a Rufus hummingbird visit my red buckeye trees and took pictures to the county extension office to share, as they hoast bird and native plant education classes for free!! Sometimes give trees and plants and bird houses away too!! Also free soil tests, help with disease in trees and more!
https://pickyourown.org/countyextensionagentoffices.htm

Chimney Swift's info
https://mercury.postlight.com/amp?url=https://nc.audubon.org/news/build-your-own-chimney-swift-tower

Our temps in the winter can hover below freezing at times, and my hummingbird feeders get a bit slushy :). Heated hummingbird feeders are just the ticket to keep things defrosted! I only plug them in when the temps drop, the rest of the time they’re just a normal feeder.

I don’t think I’ve seen any swifts at our place, but I looked it up and there are 3 varieties of swift that live in WA. Now I’ll have to watch more closely to see if we have any. I’m learning lots in this thread....your species are somewhat different than what we see here...but then I find out about a species that I didn’t know we had!
 
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Laurasea

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Just for you Jen
BirdWeb - Species of Special Concern

Oops was last year :( ! Last day to The Washington Department of Natural Resources is taking public comment through Thursday, Dec. 6, on its proposal to protect most of the threatened bird’s nesting habitat on state land, but to allow 38,000 acres of those coastal forests to be logged over the next 50 years.
https://www.kuow.org/stories/state-hatches-plan-to-save-threatened-seabird-that-needs-big-trees

https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/living/woodworking-projects

Western Bluebirds in Washington state
https://www.seattleaudubon.org/Birdweb/bird/western_bluebird

https://extension.wsu.edu/clark/master-gardeners/the-bluebirds-project/

http://www.discoverybaywildbirdrescue.com/

https://www.audubon.org/news/barn-owls-see-housing-boom-walla-walla-washington
 
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Jen5200

Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2017
1,874
Media
23
Albums
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214
Washington State
Parrots
Baby - Sun Conure;
Tango - GCC;
Bindi - Sun Conure;
Stanley - Pineapple GCC;
Screamer “Scree� - Cockatiel;
Tee - Pineapple GCC; Jimmy - Cockatiel
Thanks for all the great links - I can’t believe how many shore birds are on that list!

Dashed my hopes of seeing a western bluebird in my yard though lol - they don’t make it this far north according to the maps (I’m nudged up against the Canadian border on the coast).

Very frustrating that fish & wildlife agree to projects cutting down forests where threatened species reside - I hate that! We’re planting trees and the gov’t is cutting them down :(.
 
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Laurasea

Laurasea

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One more for you
https://www.wnps.org/native-gardening/wildlife

What about mountain bluebird??? The map looks like you might! They go all the way to Alaska
http://www.californiabirds.com/bluebirds.php
Birds don't read the maps! We have a huge population of Rosetta spoonbills and everything I find says they don't live here....

To see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wildflower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour

William Blake
1803

https://www.audubon.org/conservation/post-your-plants-birds-sign-and-spread-word
 
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Jen5200

Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2017
1,874
Media
23
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214
Washington State
Parrots
Baby - Sun Conure;
Tango - GCC;
Bindi - Sun Conure;
Stanley - Pineapple GCC;
Screamer “Scree� - Cockatiel;
Tee - Pineapple GCC; Jimmy - Cockatiel
There is a fabulous list of native plants and the birds that use them in that first link - I’m doing pretty well actually on adding native plants apparently. Definitely found some more that I can add that I didn’t know were native! I wont give up hope on the bluebirds....maybe they’re hiding around here somewhere :).
 
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Laurasea

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Urging people to stop thinking of the yard as a place they have to mow grass. Instead thinking of your yard as part of nature and the web of life. Become a land steward.

"Many consider the late Aldo Leopold to be the father of modern conservation theory and practice. Leopold believed that land stewardship was not only rooted in conservation but also involved ethics, or the search for a higher meaning. He wrote that all ethics rest upon the single premise "...that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, animals, or collectively: the land." This is to say that once we understand that humans are not separate from, but are part of and depend on the natural community, we will develop an ethic to care for the community as a whole.
Stewardship of your land is the greatest gift you can give to present and future generations. This chapter explains what healthy ecosystems are, and what you can do to help restore and maintain them for the future.
Focus on the Building Blocks

Natural resources refer to all the things that are naturally produced, and include water, air, soils, minerals, plants, and animals. The key to good land stewardship is to ensure that the basic building blocks for healthy ecosystems are taken care of. These basic building blocks are healthy soil, clean water and air, and biological diversity. Soil is the foundation of our plants, whether they are natural communities, tree farms, or food crops. Clean water and air are essential for all living organisms.
Biological diversity is simply the variety or diversity of living organisms. Over the last 500 years many organisms have become extinct or extirpated because of human activities, and many more are currently declining in population. Some of these species play a critical role in our ecosystems, and others offer medicinal, economic, nutritional, and aesthetic values. For most species we do not have enough knowledge to fully understand what roles they play in our ecosystems or what values they offer. As a good steward, though, making sure that the native plant and animal communities found in your area continue to live is a priority as important as maintaining healthy soils and clean water and air. This is especially true for rare species such as the Karner blue butterfly, which has a hard time recolonizing within other sites." ( Excerpt from the following site)
https://www.michigandnr.com/publica...de/Habitat_Mgmt/Planning/Land_Stewardship.htm

Backyard habitat
https://www.michigandnr.com/publica...uide/Habitat_Mgmt/Backyard/Backyard_Intro.htm
 
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Laurasea

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And as original thread title. The Christmas bird count is important to science.

Birders, scientists, enthusiasts, and students are among the 71,000 observers who have participated in Audubon's annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC), one of the largest, longest-running citizen science efforts in the world. (See "New Report Highlights Dire Situation of Many U.S. Birds.")
The annual event provides important data about bird population trends and helps inform conservation efforts.
Historic Christmas Count
The first count began on Christmas Day in 1900 (excerpt from following site)
https://relay.nationalgeographic.co...ird-count-anniversary-audubon-animals-science

Join this year in the Christmas Bird Count!
https://www.audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count
 
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Jen5200

Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2017
1,874
Media
23
Albums
2
214
Washington State
Parrots
Baby - Sun Conure;
Tango - GCC;
Bindi - Sun Conure;
Stanley - Pineapple GCC;
Screamer “Scree� - Cockatiel;
Tee - Pineapple GCC; Jimmy - Cockatiel
How cool - there’s a count in my town, I may get in touch with the coordinator and see if they need help!
 
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Laurasea

Laurasea

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Awesome! Tell us all about it!
There should be a count near everyone in the states!
For us disabled or the couch potatoes there is The great Backyard Bird Count in February :) Worldwide!!
https://earthsky.org/earth/register-participate-great-backyard-bird-count
The annual Great Backyard Bird Count, now in its 22nd year, is set to take place February 15-18, 2019. During this popular citizen science event, people from all over the world head outdoors to count birds and the data are used by scientists to track the health of bird populations.
 
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Laurasea

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I've decided on three trees to add to my yard this year ;)
Sourwood tree!!!
sourwood honey flavor profile & aroma
Sourwood Honey tastes like buttery caramel and has a beautiful amber color. The aftertaste has a slight twang that has been likened to gingerbread. Sour honey smells like cinnamon and cloves and has a smooth and syrupy texture.

Fringe tree
https://www.southernliving.com/garden/grumpy-gardener/fringe-tree-the-best-native-nobody-grows
And Alternate Leaf Dogwood
And the fothergilla bush
https://wimastergardener.org/article/fothergilla/
 
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