Today Patrick and I fit in 15 minutes of watching birds at our feeder. He was somewhat distracted by some new toys he received from visiting grandparents, but helped point out birds nonetheless. We did this last year, in Butte, Montana. Why? For Audubon/Cornell Lab’s citizen science program The Great Backyard Bird Count 2011 (Feb 18-21), which is:
an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.
The feeder was essentially battleground between lots of House Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos, and, seeing that most of the juncos were on the ground beneath, I’d say the sparrows won.