Watching Backyard Birds | February 2019 Preview

BIRD Bites Tidbits of Backyard Info You Can Use! 32 watchingbackyardbirds.com • Watching Backyard Birds Great Backyard Bird Count is February 15-18 Backyard bird watchers around the world will be tallying and reporting the birds they see the third weekend of February as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). While this is also a project of Audubon and Cornell Lab of Ornithology, it is not the same as Project FeederWatch. The GBBC is interested in birds beyond the feeders, and even beyond the backyard. The citizen-science-powered project aims to census birds in winter, and if more bird watchers participate, results will paint a more accurate picture of bird populations and distributions. Taking part in the GBBC is free, but there are protocols for tallying and reporting what you see. Visit gbbc.birdcount.org for complete instructions. Watch for the Winter Warbler Many bird watchers think of warblers as beautiful but elusive little birds, easiest to spot in the spring as they announce their return with song. But there’s one species of warbler that remains across most of North America even when temperatures plummet and snow flies. The yellow-rumped warbler, colloquially dubbed “butter butt,” frequents open, brushy areas such as field edges, thickets, and especially among bayberry and juniper. They especially love poison ivy and myrtle fruits, and were once called “myrtle warblers.” Watch for them as they dine on berry bushes, and even at your suet or sunflower feeder. They also enjoy raisins and peanut butter. In addition to the bird’s yellow rump, look for yellow patches on the flanks just below the wings, and a broken, white eye ring. BRUCE WUNDERLICH

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