The Great Backyard Bird Count is this month and you can participate! Sponsored by Audubon and Cornell, this is the GBBC’s 17th year. The event lasts four days, from Feb 14 to Feb 17, so mark your calendar now and sign up here, at birdsource.org. Counting birds is not only fun, but helps bird scientists know where the birds are and how many there may be.
From the site:
Everyone is welcome–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.
Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. They enter these numbers on the GBBC website.
So go on, count you some birds. Click here or on the image to register!
Today, I feel like celebrating the Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), mostly because I found this amazing video of a gloved goshawk maneuvering through tight spaces slowed down 40 times.
Goshawks are Accipiters, a type of hawk designed for fast, fighter-pilot flight and maneuverability. Accipiters don’t soar and spin in the skies the way their cousins, the Buteos (think Red Tailed Hawk), do. Instead, they use their lean body shape, long tails, and shorter, rounded wings to move quickly through the brush after small mammals and other birds. Cooper’s Hawks and Sharp-Shinned Hawks are often seen around bird feeders, hunting the songbirds that come to eat there.
Goshawks are found in the Northern Hemisphere and prefer dense forest. Cooper’s and Sharpies will hang out in less-dense forests or around meadow edges, but Goshawks love old growth. They will fiercely defend their nests by air-bombing any perceived threats, including humans. In fact, this is the only way many people get to see one!
Check out this vid. It gave me that “I heart nature” fluttery feeling for the day.
I love David Attenborough. I will watch anything he makes, anytime, anywhere. If there is a Heaven, his documentaries play on repeat all day long. And I’m not picky – I’ll settle for things he only narrates too.
Now that that’s out of the way and you all know my secret love obsession with Sir Attenborough, on to the video. This clip is from Life of Birds, which, if you are unaware, is an amazing documentary on – you guessed it! – birds. There’s also Life of Mammals (obviously about mammals), Life in the Undergrowth (about invertebrates), and Life in Cold Blood (reptiles and amphibians). These documentaries are essentially the Planet Earths of the animal kingdom and they’re without a doubt some of the best nature documentaries ever made. Check them out, you’ll be happy you did!
This clip features a tropical bird called the Lyre Bird, which is a bird that mimics to impress mates. You won’t believe your ears when you hear what this bird can imitate…
And, now that you’ve enjoyed something educational, I’m leaving you with this one as well. At first I was highly offended by the hacking of an Attenborough clip, but, well, then I was laughing so hard I almost choked on my Poptart.