Since I started purposefully birding a month ago I’ve been on 12 trips and seen 67 species! It has been a joy to venture out and see what I can find. Even on cold rainy days like today.
I made a quick trip to Whittaker Ponds and saw Canada Geese, Steller’s Jay, Ring-necked Ducks, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Song Sparrow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Mallard. I also saw evidence of tree/shrub restoration along the path which is encouraging for the future of this nature area.
At home today I saw more species at the feeder than I did at the ponds!
I saw 13 species: Pine Siskin, Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Song Sparrow, Western Scrub-Jay, European Starlings, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Dark-eyed Junco, American Robin, Northern Flicker, Anna’s Hummingbird, Golden-crowned Sparrow (a treat!) and a new one for the list: House Sparrow.
Even though the first witnessed new species of February is an introduced (and some would say invasive) Old World Sparrow it’s still a bird and it still counts.
Cornell Ornithology Lab explains the House Sparrow was first brought to New York in 1851 and in only 50 years it spread to the Rockies. It is now common all across North America. These birds blend exceptionally well with humans and urban areas, even preferring to nest in man-made buildings, rooftops, and boxes instead of natural tree holes. Like the European Starling and Rock Pigeon, they are “beneficiaries of our own success.”
This next month I’ve signed up for a Beginning Birding class with Audubon, the Great Backyard Bird Count, I have a trip to Montana, and spring is right around the corner…I can’t wait to bird more birds!