Sunday, June 14, 2009

NASWC Top 20 Bird Challenge

I did not get outside in the neighborhood this weekend, so I thought I'd post an update about the NASWC Top 20 Bird List and Challenge. This is a list I made of the 20 most common year-round resident birds in our neighborhood. It's a great place to start if you're trying to identify a bird around here. It's also a challenge -- trying to see all 20 birds is a great way to start birding and exploring nature, right in your own yard and neighborhood.

So far 3 people in the neighborhood are taking the challenge. Moria Darnell has seen 19 out of the 20 birds, just lacking Eastern Screech-Owl. Yvonne Daily has found 15, and Teresa Rogers is holding at 12. The details of what they have seen are in PDF format here.

If this sounds fun, give it a try! There's no time limit, and all the birds on the list are here year-round. If you don't live in the NASWC area, that's OK. My list is probably good for most urban and suburban neighborhoods in the Austin area. Go find some birds, start keeping a list, and email me your progress!


Shilli said...

I live a bit farther south (directly west of downtown). I have seen the white-winged dove (not sure if I have seen a mourning dove or not), downy woodpecker, at least one type of wren, goldfinch, mockingbird, cardinal, robin, red-bellied woodpecker and chickadee.

I've also seen a few vultures, lots of grackles (I think boat-tailed), titmouses (titmice?), sparrows, blue jays, purple martins, and my favorite so far, a Cooper's Hawk:

Mandi said...

This is so cool! I live in Lakeway and have feeders. I've seen a lot of these birds at my feeders, though not so many Cardinals, though I see them on my walks in the neighborhood. I had lots of Cardinals at my feeders in Steiner Ranch.

I don't know that I've ever seen a sparrow, though. That one is missing from my list. The owl I can hear in the early morning, the hawk has been in my yard and swooped past the feeder (much to my chagrin...I love all birds and hate to see one get another...but that's the way it goes!)

I love your blog...keep up the great posts!

Mikael Behrens said...

Wow, thanks Shilli and Mandi! It looks like you both are off to a great start. Try keeping a list with when and where you see each bird, and I bet you could knock out half the Top 20 in a week!

Great picture of that juvenile Cooper's Hawk, Shilli!

Keep me posted,