Monday, February 8, 2010

The Upcoming GBBC and a Top 20 Update

This weekend from Friday through Monday is the Great Backyard Bird Count for 2010. This is a nation-wide bird survey organized by national Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is intended for birders of all levels and is super easy to participate in by following their simple protocol and entering your bird observations into the GBBC web site. You can also follow the results in real time and see how many of what species are being reported from Austin or any other city. If you've needed an excuse start learning and enjoying our local birds, this is a great one! And you'll be contributing meaningful data as well.

On a much more local note, Stefani Austin and her sons who live on Briar Hollow have started my Top 20 Bird Challenge and already have observed 9 of the birds! See which ones they have seen and who else has started the challenge by clicking my "Top 20 Standings" link on the right.

What is the Top 20 Bird List and Challenge? It's a list I created of the top 20 most common bird species that we can find in our yards all year long in the NASWC area. Each species has short descriptions and links to pictures and more information. It's an excellent way to start learning our local birds, and it can help you participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count as well.


Blue Yonder said...

I can't thank you enough for the Top 20! It has been just what we needed to gain a footing and feel confident in what is a very new world for us!

Mikael Behrens said...

You're welcome, let me know what you see!

Unknown said...

I've posted this to the Crestview Gardeners list. Thanks for your time doing all this.

Mikael Behrens said...

You're welcome, Phoebe! Thanks for posting to the gardeners list. I think my Top 20 List needs a new marketing effort. :)

James said...

I almost forgot about GBBC. Thanks for this reminder.

I checked your top 20 list and those are probably the top 20 for my N Austin neighborhood also, though I still haven't seen the Eastern Screech Owl in my neighborhood.

Mikael Behrens said...

You're welcome, James! Yes, I think my Top 20 list would be mostly applicable to other Austin urban or suburban neighborhoods too.

Eastern Screech-Owl might be best detected by listening.

Annie in Austin said...

Good list! Wrens are around all the time, but I mostly see them through the window rather than hear them - think they are Carolina rather than Bewick.

At our previous Austin house we saw the mourning doves (as well as roadrunners), but only white-wing doves since we moved here 5 years ago. Also have not seen a red-shouldered hawk.

But most of your list is checked off, Mikael, even the two woodpeckers. Some other visitors to our little garden have been a Painted Bunting, Indigo Buntings, Flickers, Cedar Waxwings and the Baltimore Orioles you ID'd on my blog a while back.

We'll try to do the GBBC this year.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Mikael Behrens said...

Hi Annie, it's nice to hear you're seeing most of the birds on my top 20 list! The other birds you mention are seasonal -- they're either here in the summer or the winter or just during migration. I wanted to make my top 20 list something people can use any time of the year to start getting into local birding.