Every Bird Counts

We’re reading reports of birds beginning to journey north from their wintering locations and we’re also hearing that people are seeing birds that are not especially common in our area. Since this weekend marks the twenty-fifth Great Backyard Bird Count, I thought I’d recap some of this excitement with the hope that you might have time this weekend to get outside, count some birds, and contribute your data to help scientists better understand global bird populations. 

From eBird, we’ve learned about multiple sightings of Calliope Hummingbirds in Hillsborough while the extension office at University of Florida, Sarasota was abuzz with a very rare sighting of a Rufous Hummingbird. From iNaturalist, we’ve learned about sightings of the imperiled Limpkin in Hillsborough County and a Bald Eagle on MLK Jr. Blvd here in Tampa.

And, with the Avian Research and Conservation Institute reporting that Swallow-tailed Kites are on the way, we hope to see these beautiful raptors nesting in tall cypress and pines in lowland forests in Florida by early March.

Not a birder? Cornell is sponsoring a livestream event today at 2:00 pm to help build confidence and make birdwatching easier. It’s a great way to prepare for the Great Backyard Bird Count. You can learn more and register for the webinar here.

No seeds or berries on your native plants to attract birds to your yard? Why not consider adding a feeder or two to help nurture our feathered friends?

Remember, the lives of birds, insects, and native plants are all intertwined and need our help. Why not help scientists better understand trends across multiple regions and species by getting out and counting birds? What a great excuse to get out and experience nature.

Remember, together, we can #NurtureNative.