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Anna's Hummingbird on feeder [Noble photo]. You will not necessarily see all the birds pictured during the winter, but they are likely to be here by the spring.
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Black Headed Grossbeak [Noble photo]. You will not necessarily see all the birds pictured during the winter, but they are likely to be here by the spring.
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Western Scrub Jay [Noble photo]. You will not necessarily see all the birds pictured during the winter, but they are likely to be here by the spring.
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Varied Thrush [Penland photo] You will not necessarily see all the birds pictured during the winter, but they are likely to be here by the spring.
This weekend, join in the fun of the 13th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count—from Friday through Monday. Whether you have 15 minutes or four days to devote to it, your counts are welcome.
Watch and count all the birds you see in your yard, from your deck, or even at a favorite spot in the forest. You need to watch at least 15 minutes in whatever location you choose, and all ages and levels of birdwatchers are welcome to join in the fun.
So far we’ve heard that Kathy and Dennis Phillips from Los Padres Estates and Chuck Noble of Lebec will be counting. Linda and John Curtis from Frazier Park have their binoculars and bird books out. Lynn and Edie Stafford in Pine Mountain are raring to go, as is Mary Forbes, along with avid birders Patti Shoupe and Katy Penland. Bill and Mary Anne Lockhart are rumored to have their tally sheets standing ready.
Get your tally sheets and information about the count at the site:
Lynn and Edie Stafford say counters can call them for help with identifying, or to answer other questions: 242-1464. You can send your tally in as a hard copy or submit through the website.
“I made my own table at the end of the four days with the number of individuals of each species for each day,” said Lynn Stafford, who warns that bird watching “is addictive,” and laughs at the competitive fire that shines in the eyes of dedicated birders.
Stafford will help make up a summary of local charts so we can keep track of what birders are seeing in our mountain communities.
Submit the same information you give to GBBC to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or snail mail a copy of tally sheets to the newspaper at BIRDS c/o The Mountain Enterprise P.O. Box 610, Frazier Park, CA 93225. Remember to include the location where you made your count.
“We have amazing habitat diversity up here,” Stafford writes, adding: “We go all the way from sagebrush and pinyons through ranchland, chaparral and forests.
“In terms of seasonality, we have a very complex scene. The Interstate 5 corridor is a significant migration pathway. We also have summer visitors, winter visitors and permanent residents, down- and up-mountain seasonal movements, erratic, sporadic invasions and strange vagrants like our Tennessee Warbler last year. By the way, out of one hundred thousand counts submitted in 2009, ours was the only Tennessee Warbler. The rest were enjoying the tropical sun in Central and South America.”
–By P. Hedlund, K. Penland
This is part of the February 12, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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