Friday, December 5, 2014

European Starling

While Bettina's busying herself with our granddaughter I'm gonna post a photo she took today of a European Starling, known in the UK simply as a Starling  We see it ruffling its spotted winter feathers in our tree. 

Several weeks ago I signed Bettina and myself up for Operation FeederWatch, the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology's  "...winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance."

To think that just last year we had a hard time telling the difference between a  turkey and a pigeon! :-) When Bettina got interested in photography and simply started taking pictures of the birds visiting our backyard we had no idea it would lead to an on-going interest in them and it really has been a revelation. We're actually taking notice of all the birds that end up here in Da Hood and we're seeing some surprising birds flying over North Las Vegas: Great-tailed Grackles, Starlings, Kestrels, Hawks, Turkey Vultures, Northern Flickers, Mockingbirds, Dark-eyed Juncos, Sparrows, Finches, migrating Geese and more - it's really been fascinating. We haven't posted a lot of what we've managed to capture because there's way too many photos and just not enough time, but we hope you've enjoyed what we have posted.

The FeederWatch requirements are simple but they do have very distinct requirements for posting your watch figures and many of the birds we see fall outside the watch parameters BUT member's can still post photos on the University website regardless of when the photo was taken. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

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