Global Big Day on the Farm

Today was eBird's annual Global Big Day, an effort to receive as many reports as possible from across the globe and thereby assess the health and distribution of avian populations.  Though I participated in the breeding bird survey at South Platte Park this morning, I decided to submit my Global Big Day list from our Littleton farm.

My report period stretched from 4PM to 7:30PM and included all birds seen on or above our three acre property.  In the end, 24 species were observed, none of which was unusual for the date and location.  The highlight, one that occurs each year in mid May, was the appearance of western tanagers, colorful birds that stop on the farm to rest and feed before heading to the upper foothills and mountains to nest and raise their young.  Other sightings included a Swainson's hawk, lesser goldfinches and a spotted towhee among more common and widespread species.

Though my contribution to Global Big Day was modest at best, it is rewarding to provide input for the annual census.  After all, our avian neighbors are constantly challenged by natural predators and also face the effects of human activity, including pollution, habitat loss and climate change.  Now that the Trump Administration is in charge, they need all the attention and assistance that we can offer.  Documenting their status is but the first step.