Friday, January 21, 2011

Christmas Bird Count 2010

This year Dead Horse Point was added to the annual Christmas Bird Count.  I was nervous and Dave isn't too familiar with a lot of the birds here so we spent a couple days here at work quizzing each other and studying.  We studied pictures, names and birdcalls.  Dave can now look at a picture and say, "Hey! That's a White-breasted Nuthatch!"  When I said "you're right!"  He responded with "I know a bird!"  This conversation took place at True Value when we were looking for a bird feeder.  We ended up with a suet feeder and a black sunflower seed bell to start with.

We hiked the Rim Trail by ourselves and identified a Loggerhead Shrike, Juniper Titmouse, Dark-eyed Junco, Ravens and Crystal even spotted a Northern Goshawk, that we had to look up later.  We used binoculars and watched the birds for a few minutes at a time.  My favorite are the Juniper Titmice.  They're so cute!  ...and curious/friendly little birds that actually came up to us pretty close.  One jumped on top of a cairn while we were watching it.  Just as I was saying, "Oh look, it's sooo cute!"  It took off toward Dave and flew into the tree behind him.  I'm not repeating his reaction to that one!

Note:  I did NOT take this picture, the NPS did, but I wish I had.  I've got a picture of one but it's far away and still on my camera.  This is the Juniper Titmouse.  Isn't it cute!!

The NPS took this picture as well, but this is what ours was doing.  Perched in a tree watching the world go by.  Or watching for insects.  Anyway we had to dig out the bird book and figure out what it was.

We learned a lot, had a good time and got some good hiking in. We also added Scrub Jays and Pinyon Jays to our list.  Didn't actually see the Pinyon Jay but we heard it so it counts!

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