My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Sometimes you are better off birding at home

As anticipated, today was a wonderful “new” species day with 5 first for 2007s and a Cabbage White (CHECK) butterfly. The second that I walked outside (to head to work) I heard two Red-eyed Vireos signing (CHECK) in the trees across the street. I didn’t want to go to work but knew in 8 more hours that I would be enjoying the birdies again.

Northern Parula

Northern Parula way up in the pines.

After work I quickly ran home to feed the kittens and as I was entering the house I heard the “z ze zee zeee ” (upward trill) then “chew” (sneeze like sound)! I have been looking for this colorful bird for two weeks and where do I find this Northern Parula (CHECK)?? Right at my house!! It is around 5pm and up to two lifers, both in my back yard!! After getting things together, I headed out to Allegany State Park to look for more birds! The Yellow Warblers are everywhere…. Both Blue Headed and Red Eyed Vireos are singing … I listen … try looking … grrr, its gone! Probably a new for 2007 and I hate when I find an unidentified warbler!! Grrrr!! Where did it go?? Finally gave up and headed over to France Brook Road.

White crowned sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow avoiding being photographed

France Brook provided more Yellow Warblers and excellent, American Redstart (CHECK)!! I thought I might have heard one singing a few days ago but their song is very tricky! I was exceptionally happy to visually confirm this individual for the official check. While returning to my vehicle I happen to notice a sparrow running across the road. Wasn’t a song sparrow but had to be something good! Hmm, binoculars were in my backpack at this point so I just start shooting with the camera. I typically find this species at my feeder but without a doubt this was my first White-crowned Sparrows (CHECK) for 2007.

smile for the camera

This Red Eyed Vireo was photographed last fall.

I got my birding fix and then had to head over to a friend’s house for a quick visit. Once I returned home I realized that my lawn needed to be mowed. My banding assistant got me one of those push mowers (without a motor) for the banding station and so I figured why give it a try. Doesn’t do as nice of a job as the motorized mowers but did a good enough job for me. Lucky I did decide to used the push mower since it allowed me to hear my first Blackburnian Warbler (CHECK) for 2007!! It appears that sometimes we need to stick close to home for those great birds (3 of 5 today)!!

Tomorrow I am heading off with Dragonfly Eye to do some bog exploring. It should be fun finding some great flowers, bugs and birds.

12 responses

  1. It sure was a lucky day for you. I’m looking for white-crowned sparrows too. Any day now.

    5 May 2007 at 9:18 am

  2. Home (and school) are pretty much the only places I get to bird. I hear you on the merits of it. I figure I’ll learn HOW to bird in my own backyard and then when I do have the time/energy to bird in other places more regularly, I’ll have mad birding skillz (as the kids would say!).

    Congrats on your own mad birding skillz.


    5 May 2007 at 9:31 am

  3. You must have a great habitat in your yard. I hope you took your camera to the bog.

    5 May 2007 at 1:50 pm

  4. Grace

    My yard is a great bird place too. I learned all the common summer residents sitting on the porch swing (fanny birding).

    That bog looks like a spooky place. I went there once with Jamestown Aububon. Took some photos of bog plants and a toad on a toadstool!

    5 May 2007 at 3:58 pm

  5. Oh Happy CHECK! Day! It’s so impressive that you’ve sorted out those warbler songs. I’ve got a few under my belt, but struggle with several.

    5 May 2007 at 7:40 pm

  6. -Nice birds! When you finish eating at a restaurant do you say-CHECK PLEASE-?

    5 May 2007 at 9:25 pm


    I have one check for every 20 of yours. I love it! I agree with our backyard habitats. Like Liza, all of my bird watching is at home or school. My backyard has constant action.

    Good luck tomorrow!

    5 May 2007 at 10:01 pm

  8. So many more checks that I posted today! Great time of the year when all the bird’s are coming back! Thanks for all your wonderful comments and I do have a decent back yard.

    6 May 2007 at 12:17 am

  9. I’m with Mary… I probably have one check for every twenty of yours! Lucky duck!

    6 May 2007 at 7:40 am

  10. Corey

    sounds like a good day…and good on you for mowing with a push mower instead of a power mower.

    6 May 2007 at 6:34 pm

  11. @ Corey – trying to save some carbon using the push mower!

    8 May 2007 at 10:58 am

  12. Marg

    😀 love the expression “fanny birding” can I adopt that?

    What a great day Tom, it’s really in full swing now isn’t it? YAY!

    9 May 2007 at 1:24 pm

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