2013 is almost gone and I don't have a new yard bird yet this year! With only days to go and migration done, the pressure is on to add #95 to my yard list.
Since the house was built and we moved in in July 1991, I've added at least one new bird species just about every year. And since our Wild Birds Unlimited shop opened in 2003 (when I probably started paying even better attention), we've had at least one new species every year.
Admittedly, it gets harder each year, and calls upon my identification skills more. There's been many a day, especially during spring or fall migration, that I thought I'd be able to add to my yard list if only one of my more knowledgeable birding friends was present. I'd bet big bucks that I've had numerous warblers stop by that I just couldn't identify.
Birds don't always give us the best view!
My 2012 new yard birds were a Lincoln's Sparrow in May and believe it or not, a first ever Red-tailed Hawk (overhead) in June. The year before, I added Field Sparrow and Palm Warbler.
Lincoln's Sparrow New Yard Bird in 2012
So over the closing days of 2013, I'll need to keep a sharp eye out for that new bird. I know the "potentials" are shrinking. My best bet might be to watch overhead, where if I'm really lucky, I could see a hawk or waterfowl that hasn't passed over before. Or I could dream really big and hope that one of this winter's irrupting Snowy Owls passes overhead.
Wish me luck! And if I don't get that new bird in the next few days, I'll just turn the calendar page and shoot for 2 or more new species in 2014!!
Our eyes and ears should be open and alert to the natural wonders that surround us every day. Take time to look out our windows to see the birds that visit us and open our windows to hear them. Walk around whatever space we have to enjoy the birds in nature. Every day, work on improving our powers of observation.
Nature happens. We cannot MAKE natural things happen (or NOT happen). We can create habitats to encourage natural things to happen around us, but there are no guarantees.
Birdfeeding comes with responsibilities to the birds and the environment we share with them. If you are unwilling to accept these responsibilities, you shouldn’t feed the birds. We also have a responsibility to share these natural wonders with the next generation.