Sunday, February 14, 2016

Great Backyard Bird Count - 14 Feb 2016

I've had to work both days this weekend, so I haven't been able to get out to chase rarities like the Barrow's Goldeneye in Marysville, MI. So, I figured I'd take advantage of the great birds in the yard and participate in this year's Great Backyard Bird Count. Hosted by Cornell and eBird, its a great opportunity to gauge winter populations of birds across the continent.

The Golden-crowned Sparrow made a surprise appearance yesterday morning, but I did not see the Harris' Sparrow. So, I was hoping it would make an appearance today. Meanwhile, I was enjoying 30+ Dark-eyed Juncos and as many as 24 House Finches empty the feeders. With temps in the single digits the past few days, the American Goldfinches have arrived, as well. Up to 16 seen at one time.

This morning I saw 3 Pine Siskins arrive just before I headed back into work! One male was particularly heavy-streaked.

Purple Finches continue to come to the feeders. Mainly females, but yesterday a bright cranberry male arrived for a few minutes. I've had as many as 6 show up!

This afternoon I got what I wanted. I was under the impression that I had to submit counts during a single 15-minute interval, so I was thrilled when both the Golden-crowned Sparrow and Harris' Sparrow appeared under the feeders at the same time as the Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, Juncos and House Finches were swarming the feeders. I was able to get photos of both through the back windows. Turns out that I could submit a total list for the weekend if I wanted to.

I enjoyed a Great Backyard Bird Count today...

Happy Birthday, Dad! I miss you...
Happy Valentines Day, Robin. I Love You!

Brownton Abbey, 26340 Higgins Way, Wayne, Michigan, US
Feb 14, 2016 2:23 PM - 2:38 PM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments:     Both Harris' Sparrow and Golden-crowned Sparrow appeared under the feeders at the same time! Both birds have been regulars since November 2015 (GCSP) and December 2015 (HASP). Check out for details and previous reports on both birds. Pine Siskins arrived this morning!
17 species

Mourning Dove  3
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Tufted Titmouse  2
European Starling  3
American Tree Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  33     Maximum number seen at one time during the past two days. As I type there are at least 30 birds moving through the hedge line!
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1     This MI State rare bird has been a regular to the feeder since 27 Oct 2015. Documented extensively through blogs, rare bird reports, and eBird reports. Appeared yesterday, as well as now, just a few feet away from the Harris' Sparrow. Golden crown, black patches over eyes, whitish spot on back of head. See pics.
Harris's Sparrow  1     This MI State rare bird has appeared regularly at the feeders since 26 Dec 2016 and has been extensively documented via blogs, eBird reports, and rare bird reports. Appeared under feeder just a few minutes after Golden-crowned Sparrow arrived. Large Zonotrichia sparrow with white belly, black head/face and chest spotting, buffy cheeks. See pics.
White-throated Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  3
House Finch  24     A great study in plumage as I have been looking for Purple Finches (males) among the red males that show much variation in the amount of red on chest and flanks. Max number seen at any one time; they're responsible for the feeders going dry...
Purple Finch  6     3 females and 3 males; males distinguished from House Finches by 'cranberry' coloration over full body and lack of streaking on flanks. Females distinctive from House Finch females by heavier belly/flank streaking and distinct white eyebrow. Regularly seen and documented since early January. See blog posts (
Pine Siskin  3     Arrived this morning just in time for GBBC! Two on thistle feeder and 1 on ground.
American Goldfinch  22
House Sparrow  2     Largely absent from yard counts since winter began? Kinda nice to see them...

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by the Great Backyard Bird Count (

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