Friday, February 13, 2015

Down for the Count -- for Now

Day One of the Great Backyard Bird Count was a melancholy one here.

This past summer and fall, developers completely leveled the woods behind our property to make way for more houses. It seems to me preserving some of the foliage would be appealing to potential buyers as well as considerate to neighbors. But beyond that, the bulldozers displaced a lot of wildlife.

So we have fewer birds visiting our feeders than we had prior to the deforestation. We do still have our regular visitors, but we miss many old friends like "Rudy" the red-headed woodpecker.

Rudy the Red, at our Feeder Last Summer

Today dawned cold and windy, so maybe storm fright kept the numbers down. Plus, I was able to devote only a half-hour to steady watching and counting. Whatever the reasons, I spotted only scattered mourning doves, sparrows, wrens, and a few cardinals. Didn't even see the usual chickadees.

Three days remain in the GBBC, and I have restocked with prime bird seed. Maybe activity will pick up in our little bird preserve.

No matter what, this Spring we will plant more flowering plants and trees. We will make our own land a pleasant landing strip and refuge for our feathered friends. (Take that, developers!) And no doubt that will mean continued visits from squirrels, too, which are welcome to share seeds that have fallen to the ground but not to pig out on the feeder.

Too bad the GBBC doesn't have a checklist for reporting squirrels, too.

We still have some bunny rabbits who like to visit at night and eat leftover seed, too. I suppose our friendly possum had to relocate when the bushhogs and Caterpillars started moving in.

                                                         © Robert G. Holland  2015

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