Dec 14, 2015 | Featured Web Article

Do You Keep a List of Your Backyard Birds?

According to the lists we keep here in Marietta, Ohio, dark-eyed juncos often make their first appearance about October 10, and leave about the 25th of April.
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Many of us enjoy keeping track of the bird species we see in our yards. It's both satisfying and enlightening to keep a list from year to year to see how the mix of species changes with the seasons, and to note the arrival and departure dates of migrant visitors. For example, here in southeastern Ohio, home of Watching Backyard Birds, we know that cardinals and chickadees can start singing in late January. Dark-eyed juncos often make their first appearance about October 10, and leave about the 25th of April. Ruby-throated hummingbirds return in the spring about April 15—a tax-day bonus! Keeping your list can be as simple and low-tech as writing down the birds you see in a journal or on a printed checklist. Or, you can keep your list online using software, websites, and apps. No matter how you keep the list, it’s a fun way to keep track of the comings and goings of your backyard birds.

About Bill Thompson, III

Bill Thompson, III, was the team captain for Watching Backyard Birds from its inception 23 years ago through his death on March 25, 2019. So much of what he wrote is timeless and remains informative, helpful, and inspiring.

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  • I live in Southeastern Massachusetts. Four "orphaned" very young poults (males) showed up in my yard about a year ago. They have been around all year. I do feed them cracked corn, and they come when I call for them. I don't want to over- domesticate them, but they do recognize me as the lady that brings food. They roost in the big oak trees at night. I have a 1 acre lot, with many acres of protected forest out back and a pond on the property.Lately, during mating season, I have had hens in the yard too. We've counted as many as 7 Toms and hens, but today, had just the one stalwart (a very robust Tom) that comes everyday. One of the Toms that has recently made an appearance is wounded, limping with an obvious predator wound. The local wildlife experts say he should make a full recovery, and that he's best left to recover with his flock.I find them to be interesting and beautiful birds.
    by Heather Cole, Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • You have to put food in it.
    by Truckee Man, Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • Love listeningto both songs and calls from birds in our woody neighborhood. The two types of birds I immediately recognize are the cardinals and the chickadees. Yesterday afternoon too, I heard a woodpecker. Then it’s time to check the birdfeeders and the birdbath. Then In no time at all the cardinals and chickadees arrive, as if they had been watching me. As it gets busier around the feeders, I also hear thé screeching of the blue jays. I even saw a couple of robins checking out our lawn....spring has arrived as the last pat gesofisticeerde snow and ice melt away.
    by louisabt, Sun, 08 Mar 2020
  • I am wondering about existing nests for Phoebes. I have two outdoor aisle entries to my barn and there are old Phoebe nests up. They ignore them each year and build new nests adjacent to the old, but space is running out. Should I knock down the old nests so they can rebuild?
    by [email protected], Sun, 02 Feb 2020
  • Just wondering, should we put anything in the bottom of the box...twigs, clippings, leaves....anything at all?
    by Hebb, Tue, 28 Jan 2020