Celebrate our local birds–Join the Great Backyard Bird Count Feb 16

Lately, we have a new neighbor in the area you might see if you’re lucky.  The Phainopepla is normally a desert bird but he has been hanging around our backyard and elsewhere for several weeks.  He looks like a pure black cardinal with a bright red eye.  His mate, (who I think he’s hoping to attract) has not yet been seen but she is a very different color (dimorphism-vocab word of the day).  He can eat 1,100 mistletoe berries a DAY when they are available.  His call sounds like a water drip from a faucet.  If you hear a single drop…look around, that is probably him!  We don’t usually see these in our area so this is a treat.
And, what a perfect bird to count in the 2018 annual Great Backyard Bird Count
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is the most fun annual international event!  It can be entered by anyone of any age and it can be accomplished in as little as 15 minutes; all you have to do is count the birds you see at home or elsewhere and identify them.
Bird populations can be affected by changing climate and weather events. Sometimes these changes impact the size of the species and/or their whereabouts. The annual contest is conducted to assist the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn about where birds are and how they’re doing. Those experts can’t be everywhere at once, so they depend on us “volunteer collectors” during the GBBC. Last year there were 160,000 participants who submitted their findings, the largest snapshot of the world’s birds taken during one short period of time.
When you sign up for the GBBC you will get all kinds of great resources to ready you for the event, including ways to collect your data, how to organize it, species lists, and apps with species names, photos, and geographical regions of nearly every known bird in the world. Plus, you will get many tips on how to conduct and submit your surveys, as well as how to maximize your experience for your own benefit.
Lately, we’ve see a 
We have a new neighbor in the area you might see if you’re
lucky.  The Phainopepla is normally a desert bird but he has been hanging
around our backyard and elsewhere for several weeks.  He looks like a pure
black cardinal with a bright red eye.  His mate, (who I think he’s hoping
to attract) has not yet been seen but she is a very different color
(dimorphism-vocab word of the day).  He can eat 1,100 mistletoe berries a
DAY when they are available.  His call sounds like a water drip from a
faucet.  If you hear a single drop…look around, that is probably
him!  We don’t usually see these in our area so this is a treat.
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