Part of me wonders just how truly important numbers reported by the likes of me might be (though, of course, Cornell insists citizen science makes all the difference). I feel a little like Ralphie with the Little Orphan Annie decoder ring though the birds aren't spelling out anything so crass as "Buy More Bird Seed" despite Wild Birds Unlimited being a sponsor. It's got to be a benefit, however, to encourage participants to become more aware of the birds in their own backyards regardless of what numbers are then fed into a giant computer database. I spent more time than usual seeing who comes to visit and I was rewarded with a fox sparrow right in my own tiny garden. I initally assumed it was a second song sparrow but fortunately the fantastic Mr Fox returned a few times so I could have a second and third look and, well, fox sparrow will be on my report. Also on the list: 2 Anna's hummingbirds, 1 Bewick's wren, 2 Steller's jays, 1 European starling, 1 song sparrow, 1 goldencrowned sparrow, 5 American goldfinches, 6 house finches, 2 black-capped chickadees, 3 chestnut chickadees (who knew?!), 1 northern flicker, 5 pine siskins, and those aforementioned 14 juncos and 15 bushtits.
But hey! What's a post about birds without bird photos? Just words. I'm working on a whole new guide for birds, featuring the angle one sees so often. As far as I know, there isn't a guide to bird bottoms on the market yet so I figure wealth and fame will soon be mine. More than those things, however, I want readers to identify the birds shown, from below, below. All the photos were taken in the backyard today so all the bires are on the list above.