Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lots of winter birds in the Garden

We had a great birding outing this morning in the Garden. 

Patrick McMillan and Matt Johnson (Patrick's assistant on Expeditions and a keen birder) provided expertise.  We were a small group, so were able to see many more birds than I've ever managed to spot in the Garden before, either alone or with other birding groups.

It was more than well worth the contribution to Garden Education programs, too.

There are myriad ways to learn about birds, but digital advances have provided portable field guides with bird songs and calls on an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad. Totally wonderful.  I've had CD's and chip-based players, but these portable versions --great!

But, regardless of the digital devices, the best way to learn about birds is to go out with good birders, who point out birds and their field marks and cue you in to their calls and songs  -- so, thanks Patrick and Matt!

Birds we saw (and often were able to hear:

Red-shouldered Hawk
Mourning Dove
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Eastern Phoebe
American Crow
Blue Jay
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Eastern Bluebird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird
Pine Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Chipping Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Eastern Towhee
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
American Goldfinch
House Finch

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