Compared to the past few years, we changed little in our garden in 2009, the exception from a backyard birding standpoint is that we have been feeding less and less (click here for my feelings on this). We have cut back and stopped feeding black sunflower seeds- they tended to draw in undesirable species like house finches and squirrels (read more about squirrels here), and instead the only feed we provide is suet (click here for our conventional and unconventional feeders) and hummingbird feeders seasonally.
- 40 species of birds used our yard this year. In total we have had about 60 species use the yard over the last 10 years (here is the list). Some exceptions this year were red polls (haven’t seen them in a while, and not since a "cold" (read: normal) winter, blue jays (don’t know why), and many species of warblers (though I might have missed them between building our greenhouse and training for a couple of marathons).
- American robins were the first to return (Feb. 16) and the mountain chickadee (Dec. 14) was the most recent arrival.
- One new species to our backyard bird list- the Brown creeper. Though not an uncommon bird, we had never had one in our yard before.
- Black capped chickadees had two clutches. Though this happens every year, I still love it.
- Northern flickers had a clutch. The noteworthy thing about that this year was the the male was a hybrid of two morphs and the female disappeared early on, leaving him to raise the nestlings.
Here is the list of birds in 2009:
Year-round or resident bird species
Dark-eyed Junco* (*fall-spring resident)
2009 bird arrivals to our garden
Mountain chickadee December 12
Pine siskin October 4
White crowned sparrow October 3
Yellow rumped warbler October 3
Dark eyed junco October 3
House wren August 22
Olive-sided Flycatcher August 16
Hairy Woodpecker August 1
Northern Oriole May 28
Warbling Vireo May 27
Western Wood Pewee May 24
Yellow Warbler May 24
Wilson's Warbler May 23
Western Tanager May 21
American Goldfinch May 20
Gray Catbird May 20
Chipping sparrow May 18
Lincoln's sparrow May 16
Dusky flycatcher May 14
Black-chinned hummingbird May 12
Rufous hummingbird May 10
Ruby crowned kinglet May 2
Calliope hummingbird May 2
Golden crowned kinglet April 29
Bohemian Waxwing March 27
Varied Thrush March 26
Song Sparrow March 22
Brown Creeper March 16
Mourning Dove Feb. 21
American Robin Feb. 16