Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ovenbird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Common Yellowthroat—What a Week!

I've made some time to get out and bird a little over the past few days. As a reward, I've added three birds to my life list: Ovenbird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Common Yellowthroat. I know, these aren't rare or spectacular birds. But each was pretty awesome to see for the first time. The Ovenbird walking through the woods like it was taking a leisurely stroll. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher hopping around a tree's leaves, hunting for food. The Common Yellowthroat with its bandit mask. All truly beautiful creatures.

Add to these lifers a couple of FOYs—Gray Catbird, Field Sparrow—and a first glimpse of a Northern Bobwhite, and I would say it's been a good few days for me, especially since I haven't had as much time as I wanted to bird (of course, it's never enough time). I've set a goal of 100 species for my home county this year, and as of right now I'm at 64. Decent, but there's still a way to go.

Gray Catbird in my backyard.

Common Yellowthroat in a tree in my backyard.


  1. When I added birdseed and bread crumbs to one of my back yards some years ago, I was stunned at the emergence of a vast variety of birds. I haven't done this in recent years because we have cats. But when I do take my cats out I keep them leashed so that they can't bother the birds.

  2. I've been surprised by the variety we have around here. I always thought we only had cardinals, mockingbirds, and robins. Now, I can usually document 30 to 35 species visiting our yard each month.

    We have some feral cats that I've noticed, so I'm going to try to work out something to give birds an "early warning" of a possible predator. Even if it's a low fence around the feeding area that the cat will have to jump over, I figure it may give the birds an extra split second to get away. Thankfully, so far I haven't seen definite cat kills, but I know it's a matter of time. So I'm going to try to do what I can to help.