Good Reason to Leave a Comfy, Warm Home!

Have you reached a point in your life where it would probably take an emergency to get you to leave your comfortably, warm home to traipse about in the snowy outdoors? Well, there is an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations, when families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and

Snow does not stop bird hunters.

Snow does not stop bird hunters.

check lists go on an unusual mission, oftentimes starting before dawn. Its the National  Audubon Society’s Bird Hunt and it begins in December and continues until New Year’s.

The point of a Bird Count is to create a sort of bird census. This data is sent to the Audubon Society and is also shared with scientists when they gather information to track migration patterns. One participant, a banker, named Roger, has been doing this for thirty years and he left his home expecting to see many crows, starlings and rock pigeons. They are the birds that I am not very delighted to see at my bird feeder, especially the starlings that come in large groups and consume much feed. Roger, however finds migration one of the greatest things in all of nature. Some birders come home feeling depressed at the drop in numbers of some birds, especially water fowl.

To give you an idea of the participation in the bird hunts, which by the way, has been held since the beginning of the 20th century, a search group of 75 hunters booked 108 species.  You may wonder if this event is worth the effort until you realize that  more

Proper equipment helps the bird counting process.

Proper equipment helps the bird counting process.

than 63,000 hunters participated across North and South America. It is now in its 113th year. The Audubon Society calls it the longest running citizen science project in the world. Hunters are told to search for fifteen minutes, but many look longer than that. Some hold hands while foraging through tall grasses in search of their “fine, feathered friends.”

My interest perked as I came across information on the Evening Grosbeak. My feeders were only invaded by them once and I haven’t seen them since. From what I read, the

Grosbeaks are big eaters.

Grosbeaks are big eaters.

Grosbeak may not be less in number, but rather just settled in other parts of the U.S. I’ll never forget their invasion as they flew in squadron-like formation, chatting with each other, and gobbling down much seed, with their chunky parrot-like beaks. Actually, it was more seed than I’d seen consumed, ever before, in a such short time.

I can understand why people would participate in this bird count, but why in the winter time?  Then I remembered that it  isn’t  wintery weather everywhere. In Florida, I enjoy

The search goes on!

The search goes on!

early morning walks and look forward to hearing the birds sing at the coming of the light of morning. You may want to join in the count and become a part of the groups of people everywhere searching their back yards and nearby fields while counting the birds they see.

Checking for migration of birds seems to be the main reason for holding these counts. I love feeding birds and drawing them to my yard, but their care is undertaken by God. In fact,  in Matthew 6:26, Jesus warns us to be more like them. He says, “Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.” Jesus doesn’t stop there. He says we are much more valuable than they. Worrying, sowing, reaping and storing just may reduce our ability to trust in God. What’s your opinion on this?  I hope you’ll write and leave your thoughts on the subjects of birds, God and you.

9 thoughts on “Good Reason to Leave a Comfy, Warm Home!

  1. Hi Shirley, Well, you certainly hit on one of my very favorite subjects with this blog….Birds!! LOL I have known about the National Audubon Society’s bird count for quite some time now. If you want to participate in it, you need to contact a local “Audubon leader” and they will assign you a local area for bird watching. Doing this would involve quite a commitment and much devoted time. I have never done this for Audubon, but I have participated in “The Great Back Yard Bird Count”, which starts in February.I have it marked on my calendar and it starts on February 15th and runs through until the 18th. I have participated in this event, for the past 4 years, and it is always great fun to count the birds that you see and identify them. Audubon also accepts uploads of photographs, which I have also done. Birds are one of God’s most beautiful creatures, and he certainly gave allot of thought to their creation. I think that God likes birds allot because he made so many of them and they come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. They are also found everywhere in the world, so God must have wanted to be sure that we all get to enjoy them!! God certainly takes care of our wild birds, but every now and then one comes along that needs a “little help” from us. One example of this is a young seagull that we found. The juvenile bird was very weak and it was apparently starving to death. We fed it for two days until we could get it to a local wild bird rehabilitator. The rehabilitator was able to bring it back to good health and he eventually released it into the wild once again. This past summer a baby cardinal flew into one of our windows and was stunned. I watched over it and saw that it got safely into the woods, near our house, where it wouldn’t be seen as prey. I kept watch over it all day, and it eventually climbed up a branch and into a tree… and that is when its parents found it and began bringing food to it. Its parents kept calling to it and it moved high and higher up the tree. The bird was encouraged to move further and further up into the tree canopy, until I could no longer see it.It appeared that this bird was going to be alright, and it made my heart smile to see how God works to protect, always!! I have had numerous encounters with birds, and this is just a couple of them that I have mentioned here. We can learn allot by observing our feathered friends,and we can learn allot about God and his creation by looking at nature and all that God has created.

    Like

    • Thanks, Colleen, for your wonderful, true, bird stories. If I were a bird I’d want to live near your house.:) It’s encouraging to hear about your love for God and His creation. Please keep writing.

      Like

  2. I’ve heard about this bird count but for me it would take away from my joy of bird watching…I keep a daily record for my own account. The elements…winter or summer…are never kind to me…so I pretty much do my watching from inside my home…keeping a close eye on the bird feeder and other birds in the immediate area. I have a male/female Pine Grosbeck…and the Slate Colored Junco’s are only winter birds at my feeder. Like Colleen…my son Ryan and I rescued a cardinal that was lying on the hot pavement in 104 degree weather. We wrapped him in a towel and took him home and released him in the front yard with fresh water and other cardinals to care for him. He recovered quickly. Also…you guys should watch the movie…”The Big Year”…a year long bird spotting competition. And just today I trusted God with several little things that could have become big problems. I am so grateful for the love and the grace that God showers me with each day…!!

    Like

    • No one needs to do a consensus on the birds living near your home. They are all accounted for. Your love of God’s creation is obvious. Thanks for the testimony of how God cares for you. Please write again.

      Like

  3. Oh I LOVE the loon count on Moosehead Lake! I not only get to help out with the census, but it gets me out on the lake early in the morning, often in picture-perfect weather. Thanks for reminding me I have something wonderful and WARM to look forward too. It’s been a long, cold winter, and lot’s more to go!

    Like

    • Such an unusual hunt. So glad you have it to look forward to. Be sure to take photos. I can’t imagine how cold it must be where you are. Hope you are not out in it for extended periods of time. Thanks for writing.

      Like

    • Hi Chuck: So glad you have such an unusual bird count to look forward to, on such a story-book-sounding lake. I can’t imagine how cold it must be where you are living. Hope you are not out in it for extended periods of time. Another month or so and the worst of it should be over or is that just wishful thinking? Thanks for writing.

      Like

  4. Funny, I had grosbeaks only one time at my feeder, long time ago, as well. I enjoy watching the birds at the feeder outside my kitchen window. Every morning I put a scoop of bird seed in it. I like that Agway now has a “regional blend”. This morning was warmer than it’s been and I have scads of sparrows in the barn. They were all happy today chirping away like as if it were spring. We have to cover the feeders with hay so the birds don’t eat the horse grain before we let the horses in, also, they steal bits of hay to make nests. I have to say, II enjoy listening to them but they are a pain in the barn because they are messy.

    Like

    • The same flock of grosbeaks may have made stops at both our homes. I love hearing your barn stories. You’ve made a good home for many birds, too bad they are such a nuisance.Thanks for writing, Tilly.

      Like

Please leave a comment. I love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s