Monday, January 31, 2011

Neighborhood birds: the first 12 months

Now that January is over, we have officially spent 12 months in our house!

I have been keeping a list of the bird species we encounter in our yard, on walks with the dog, or during other outings in the neighborhood.

I added up the species from each month to reveal the following patterns:

We found 65 species during the year. Of these, 36 (55%) were year-round residents, 13 (20%) migrated here from higher latitudes or elevations to spend the winter, and 16 (25%) migrated from the south to nest in our area.

The Song Sparrow was the only species I recorded every month. I recorded another nine species (Western Scrub Jay, Steller's Jay, Spotted Towhee, Lesser Goldfinch, House finch, Bewick's Wren, Black-capped Chickadee, Anna's Hummingbird, and American Crow) at least 10 months out of the year.


We found the most species in May and the fewest in April. My guess is the the low numbers in April, June, and August resulted from less time looking for birds due to travel and work. It will be interesting to see if these patterns hold for the second year in our neighborhood.

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