Project Feeder summary and American Wigeon


This afternoon, at the close of a two-day Project Feeder count, I tallied 116 individual birds comprised of 20 different species. Birders who are familiar with Cornell Lab’s Project Feeder Watch (I’ve participated the past 4 winters) are aware that counting for this program requires adherence to a somewhat different set of rules compared with normal listing. For example, the number of birds of a given species can only be as great as the number seen simultaneously. Typically a person assumes a count of 2 Northern Cardinals if one has observed 1 male and 1 female at different points in time during a “list”. But, with Project Feeder, in order to log a count of 2 Northern Cardinals, both have to be seen at the same time. During this 1/24 - 1/25 count, I confirmed 4 Northern Cardinals, i.e. 3 females and 1 male seen all at once.

Yesterday and today, I had 2 different Cooper’s Hawks visit the feeder station area (no casualties), day one an immature bird, and this afternoon, an adult dropped in for a short stay. In Project Feeder terms, this = one Cooper’s Hawk.

Highlights of the 2-day count included a flock of 16 Cedar Waxwings, 3 Purple Finches (which I could only count as 2… i.e. the most I saw together at one time), and one lone American Tree Sparrow among the 7 White-throated Sparrows.

Incidentally, on a mid-day birding ride this afternoon, my husband Robert and I found an American Wigeon among a very large flock of Mallards, foraging in an active local farmyard.

Rita Reed
East Hoosick (Rensselaer County)