Monday, February 1, 2010

January BIGBY count - 71 species!!

What's a BIGBY? See:

Yesterday morning I walked to the local grocery store to pick up a Sunday newspaper. As I was headed home I noticed a first-of-year (FOY) Black Vulture flying above Pete Ellis Drive. That was BIGBY species #71 for the year, and a new record BIGBY count for the month of January!

Along the way I also saw a mixed flock of Cedar Waxwings and Robins feeding on the desiccated fruit of an ornamental crabapple tree. I know we have Robins year-round here, but seeing 50-60 noisily feeding Robins reminded me that spring migration is (almost) just around the corner. And thinking about Robins and spring migration reminded me of my favorite birdwatching song ( OK, so it’s the only birdwatching song I know of.

Finally, there has been a heck of a lot of crows around the neighborhood this week. Saturday morning I was walking past Indiana University’s new Innovation Center on east 10th Street and the ground under a couple of trees there was blanketed with crow droppings. (I made a big detour around those trees!) Last night at sunset I stood in the front yard and heard what sounded like thousands of crows massing not too far off to the west. And at one point this afternoon I had about 25-30 crows foraging in the side yard. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for five years and I can’t remember ever having this many crows around.

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