People outside the birding world may have missed it, but this week is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Big Day fund raiser for bird conservation. Texas, especially the coast and the hill country, is the place to be during Spring Migration.
I’ve also heard of a Big Week event in Ohio set to begin on the 4th of May, also to raise money for research and conservation.
I’m not much of a joiner so I don’t know of any official activities going on in Hutchinson County (not even sure if there is anything official about Hutchinson County, birding-wise) but I’ve been out at the lake as much as I can manage this week and while I wouldn’t call it a Big Week, it’s been a pretty good one.
Some of the birds I’ve enjoyed watching this winter have disappeared in the last few weeks-the Bald Eagles left around the first of the month and the American White Pelicans weren’t there yesterday. Some, like the Blue-winged Teals,Gadwalls, American Wigeons, and Northern Shovelers have made a curtain call this week and I suspect that soon they’ll be gone until next fall.
There has been a resurgence of resident birds (ones that live here year round) also. I’m not sure where they went but the Northern Mockingbirds and Cardinals, and the Great Blue Herons had been pretty scarce for the last few months.
Some of the winter residents are still hanging around. The White-crowned Sparrows are approaching plague-like numbers. I like them, though-they make me laugh. They look like their moms made them put on a bike helmet to go out to play.
He looks like he had a rough winter.
None of these birds are all that unusual, I guess, but I’ve never noticed them before, so I get pretty excited when I identify a new one.
Still waiting on the Red-headed Woodpeckers and the Mississippi Kites to arrive.
Check out the galleries for pictures of the other birds mentioned in this post.