Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

My local Christmas Bird Count is this Saturday, so I’m hoping my team will be able to find Pine Grosbeaks. I haven’t seen any yet this winter — so fingers crossed!

A male Pine Grosbeak at my grandparents’ feeder last year,


More Feathers on Friday:

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Feathers on Friday

:: From Ethan at Bird Boy: Feathers on Friday

My 10 Best/Favorite Photos of 2012

2012 was filled with very memorable, fun, and exciting moments, and my trip to Long Point this August will be my most cherished memory!

At the end of last year, I wrote a post on “My 10 Favorite Birds of 2011“. I wanted this year’s year-end post to be different from that, so here are my 10 best and favorite photos of 2012.

One of the most exciting birds I saw at my feeders this year was a Northern Shrike in March,


Holding a Burrowing Owl at the Tofield Snow Goose Chase in April,


One of the Gray Catbirds I counted during the local May species bird count,


At the Bird Studies Canada Headquarters in August during the Young Ornithologists’ Workshop,


A banded Canada Warbler at Long Point in August,


My friend Katie holding an Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle at Long Point during the YOW,


A young Turkey Vulture after being banded in late August,


A Northern Harrier in September,


A Long-tailed Weasel at my grandparents’ yard in November,


A Pine Grosbeak at my grandparents’ yard in December,


A Winter Poll

To celebrate the Solstice and the first day of Winter today, I have a poll!

Vote for your favorite Winter bird by the evening of Saturday, December 29th, and I will post the results on Friday, December 30th. Thank you!

Project FeederWatch Season is Coming!

Project FeederWatch starts November 10th, 2012.

A couple of years ago, I joined Project FeederWatch as part of my home school science studies. The first year, I didn’t think counting the birds at my feeders on selected days for almost a year would be fun; it was my mother’s idea and I wasn’t quite as, well, nutty about birds as I am now. But I was completely wrong. It was very exciting to see which birds, and how many, would come to my feeders on the days I chose, and ever since I’ve been participating in Project FeederWatch.

A Northern Shrike I saw on one of my FeederWatch days last winter,

Project FeederWatch is very helpful to scientists because they receive data from feeder watchers all over North America, which helps them look at population trends and see what species are increasing or decreasing.

When you sign up for Project FeederWatch in Canada you will become a member of Bird Studies Canada, and receive quarterly issues of BirdWatch Canada magazine, a large full color poster of common feeder birds of Western Canada and Eastern Canada, and other great material on bird feeding. Last season I filled out my data online instead of writing in the booklet and sending in the filled out forms at the end of the season, which I found much easier and convenient.

Project FeederWatch also has a wonderful blog, where they have links to help you identify similar species, great bird feeding tips, and a gallery of Project FeederWatch participant photos.

In the mail a few weeks ago I received a letter from Bird Studies Canada, with a complimentary renewed BSC membership as a participant in the 2012-13 FeederWatch program, for my participation in the Young Ornithologists’ Workshop at Long Point in August. It’s a wonderful gift and one I know I will enjoy using very much. Thank you very much, Bird Studies Canada!

I can’t wait for Project FeederWatch season to start and hope lots of birds visit my feeders too!

A Common Redpoll at my feeders last winter,

To join Project FeederWatch in Canada, click HERE

Become a fan of Project FeederWatch in Canada on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter

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To join Project FeederWatch in the US, click HERE

Become a fan of Project Feederwatch in the US on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter

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Also, the US website for PFW has a page with Educator and Home School Resources, along with a free PDF to download, “Homeschooler’s Guide to Project FeederWatch”; I never used it but it might be helpful for other students and home schoolers.

A Pine Grosbeak at my grandparents’ feeder last winter,

A Canadian Big Year!

Have you ever had the dream of participating in a Big Year? I have, but I probably won’t be able to fulfill my dream until later on in life.

But until then, I have been reading a wonderful blog about four Calgarians participating in a Canadian Big Year for both birds and mammals.

The blog is Fur & Feathers 500 – a Canada Big Year for Birds and Mammals. There are some beautiful photos in this blog and wonderful posts about their journeys across Canada. I would recommend subscribing to their blog to get regular updates on their progress and lists. I hope by the end of 2012 Brian, Ray, Phil, and Mike are able to achieve their goal of 500 species of birds and mammals!

A Pine Grosbeak (photo by me),