Friday, May 8, 2009

Urban Bio-Diversity

So, for fun, I've been cataloging every critter that comes into, lives on, or flies over our little postage stamp in urban Covington. I'm frankly impressed.

When I was very young, I was very much the junior naturalist. I tramped far and wide in my semi-rural neighborhood through hundreds of acres of woods, along streams and ponds and the like. I was always looking for different species of critters. And I saw a lot (there wasn't much else to do).

So, when I say that I may have seen more bird species in 9 months over and on this postage stamp than I did during my childhood, it means something.

The latest was a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. My first.

We've also added a mocking bird and a tree swallow to the list. I'm sure there will be a number more as we go through summer and fall migrations. I theorize that we're seeing more birds than when I was young because of a number of factors. More raptors due to the DDT ban, more birds due to habitat preservation and feeding stations, and probably more birds in general due to the efforts of Ducks Unlimited and various conservation groups and birders. In any case, for the price of 20 lbs. of sunflower seed and a like amount of generalized bird seed, this is pretty cheap entertainment.

So far, here's the list of all non-bug, non-pet critters we've spotted:

Canadian Geese
Mallard Ducks
Turkey Vultures
Red Tailed Hawk
White-footed Mice
Mourning Dove
Rock Dove
Downy Woodpecker
European Starlings (invasive)
English Sparrows (invasive)
Chimney Swifts
Blue Jay
Garter Snakes
Carolina Wren
Brown Thrasher
American Kestrel
Rose-Breasted Grossbeak
Mocking Bird
Tree Swallow

Kinda cool, if you ask me.

If you haven't seen Hooked On House, check out Julia's Blog Party...she's hooked on porch swings .


Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

That's really an amazing list. My husband loves birds and is always watching for different ones in our wooded backyard. We get hawks on our back deck a lot and have a very noisy owl (or two) who likes to make a racket when we're trying to sleep with the windows open.

Enjoy the three-day weekend! :-)

Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry said...

We've got some noisy owl(s) that we never see and some quiet hawks that we do se. We keep our Roger Tory Peterson handy but y'all see all the birds!! (sorry to delete my first comment but the spelling police were banging at the door.)

Beki - TheRustedChain said...

What a cute picture!