Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

2009 marks the 21st year we've lived on this 5-acre spot and 11 years since it was certified as a National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat. It's so much fun for us to feed and watch the birds and critters in the backyard and I was rewarded by a big flock of Mourning Doves that flew in this afternoon for a visit. I looked closely, but didn't spot any Eurasian Collared Doves. It's really unusual for us to see this many Mourning Doves in Minnesota in January, and I guess the effects of global warming plus greater numbers of people feeding birds has helped these doves to adapt and survive a Minnesota winter.

I ended up with a total of 57 birds on my Backyard Bird List for 2008. That's 4 more than I recorded for 2007--the first year I kept an "official" list. Some outstanding backyard birds on my 2008 list were: Northern Shrike, Fox Sparrow, Orchard Oriole, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, and Red-Eyed Vireo. I'm looking forward to what 2009 will bring to my backyard and hopefully I'll get that list up to 60 this year!


Shellmo said...

Ruthie - you definitely have more mourning doves than I! LOL!
happy new year!

jan m said...

Happy New Year Ruthie. That is neat that you are a certified habitat, and your numbers prove you must be doing the right things. I also have large flocks of mourning doves that hang out much of the day all year long.

Mama Pea said...

Happy, Happy New Year, Ruthie -

I'm pickled tink to have made you as a blogger friend this past year and really look forward to our continued friendship in 2009.

A couple of days ago, I was trying to quietly open the front door to get a picture of our pair of cardinals on the deck when I saw a single Mourning Dove out there. 'Course, everybody scattered in a flurry and I got no picture, but I was surprised to see the dove up here in NE Minnesota at this time of year. Hope mine didn't get lost from your flock!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I hope you add many more birds to your yard list this year Ruthie. Happy New Year.

Dana and Daisy said...

I was just bragging to a friend of mine what a fabulous knitter you are.

happy Birding!

dAwN said...

Happy New Year to you and yours! May you see many new birdies in your yard this year.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Shelley, I thought of you and "Bob" when I was watching these mourning doves today!

Thanks Jan, I don't mind the doves at all--there's plenty of seed on the ground for them to clean up.

Thanks Mama Pea. Perhaps we'll have the chance to meet face-to-face in 2009. I'm excited to hear you've got a pair of cardinals AND a mourning dove up there in the northwoods!

Thanks Lisa. I probably miss lots of birds when I'm at work all day, but it's a good excuse to spend time in the backyard when I'm at home.

Thanks Dana. My office mate gave me a Jo-Ann Fabrics gift card for Christmas and yesterday I went out and bought MORE YARN! I'm hopeless!

Thanks Dawn. I'm looking forward to more birds.

Gaelyn said...

Just arrived at your blog and love it. I'll be back.

Welcome to 2009!

Lynne said...

Happy New Year Ruthie!

Lynne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What a flock of mourning doves you have, I only have a couple [jealous-jealous]. Those are some neat pics of them.
That list of birds for 2008 is very impressive almost unbelievable, from 5 bare acres to a wildlife habitat it is really something. You have to post all the animals [2 & 4 footed} that visit your yard too. You have both worked very hard to develope your yard [acreage]. It has really paid off.

KGMom said...

Happy New Year, Ruthie.
I started the new year off right--I finished knitting a blanket for my daughter!

I love that you are certified as a wildlife habitat. I have thought about seeing if our tiny yard could do something like that--but don't know if we have too little yard.

Have a great year ahead.

Kallen305 said...

Happy New Year Ruthie. Love the dove photos. I think I will start a list this year. I could only dream of seeing some of the birds you have in 08!

troutbirder said...

Hey Ruthie!
Nice pics. I do think you are right about the warming thing in spite of some cold days and nights. My regular tufted titmouse pair for two winters running makes me think so. Happy New Year!!!

Red said...

Happy New Year Ruthie! May 2009 bring you more than 60 backyard birds!

That certainly is a lot of Mourning Doves. And I thought our yard had a lot!

Mary C said...

Looks like Red beat me to it! Happy New Year, Ruthie. And I hope you get at least 60 species this year. I thought we had our share of mourning doves, which I really like to watch in our backyard. But that definitely was a large flock that flew in to feed.

Jayne said...

Our doves seem to come and go these days. I'll see a flock of them, and then I won't see them for days it seems. Odd. Happy New Year Ruthie!

Deb said...

We saw a few mourning doves on the Pine County Christmas Bird Count- very unusual. And the first ever robin recorded during the count.

That's a great backyard bird list, and great habitat. Happy New Year!

Maud said...

Happy New Year!

Windyridge said...

Happy New year to you! Ya know I saw a pair of mourning doves the other day. I don't recall seeing them in winter here before.

Mary said...

You have more species than I, but I'll bet I have more MODOs than you :o) When I open the screen door at 4pm, there's an explosion of them. They like resting on the pond.

I wish you 60 more species in 2009!


RuthieJ said...

Hi Gaelyn and welcome to my blog! Come on back & visit anytime.

Thanks Lynne.

Hi Mom,
All these doves are very surprising to me. This is first winter I've had so many.

Hey Donna, way to go on finishing that blanket! Yesterday evening I finished a scarf I've been working on for 4 years. I'm going to try and finish at least 2 old projects every month this year and I'm writing it down too, so I'll know what I've accomplished.

Hi Kallen,
I wish I had started a yard list years ago. I think once you start your list that you will be surprised by how many birds you actually have visiting the backyard.

Hi Troutbirder,
I'm so jealous of your tufted titmice! I haven't seen any in my yard for a couple years. They're pretty darn cute little birdies.

Thanks Red. I've got a good start towards 60--I'm already at 13 by the end of today!

Thanks Mary C. I will have much larger numbers of mourning doves next summer, but seeing a flock this large in January in Minnesota is quite unusual--especially since we've had so much snow and cold already this year.

Thanks Jayne. The doves are somewhat sporadic here too--I didn't see nearly as many today as yesterday.

Hi Deb,
That's cool about your Pine County CBC. I remember you were hoping your robin would still be hanging around by count time.

Thanks Maud.

Hi Windyridge,
That's interesting about your doves too. Did you see them at your birdfeeder?

Thanks Mary. A lot of the birds on my yard list I only saw once & during migration, but I still count 'em. The doves haven't discovered the heated birdbath on my deck yet. I love the sound their wings make when they fly!

Ruth said...

Happy New Year Ruthie! If I was a bird I would visit your yard for sure. We have a pair of doves who visit our feeders daily, that's all. There are a lot of them around though.

Marsha said...

that is a lot of doves for a MN winter! I spotted a lone one the week before Christmas but he is long gone.

I've never thought to keep a bird list of the year - what a great idea and I'm going to try it this year.

Mel said...

Happy new year Ruthie!!

I wish the best for you and your dear ones (sorry I'm a bit late, it has been crazy for me these days)