My best yard year ever
(posted 9-25-07)

We moved into our present home exactly 10 years ago this month. At the time, I never imagined that I’d come to enjoy “yard birding” so much.

This month will go down as the best one I’ve ever had for hummingbirds. For the first time, I placed two feeders in my backyard, about 25 feet apart. Maybe that’s been the difference. Then again, reports indicate that hummingbird numbers are up throughout the region.

Amidst the hummers, last weekend’s excitement was a Yellow-Throated Vireo. It was my 80th yard species of 2007--one better than my previous best year.

It has indeed been an exceptional year, and it’s far from over. I’ll be looking for Hermit Thrush, Brown Creeper, Purple Finch, Fox Sparrow and Pine Siskin in the coming weeks. With a little luck and a lot of observation time, my year list could grow to 85 species or more.

Soon it will be time to choose a “Yard Bird of the Year.” It will almost certainly be the Peregrine Falcon that coursed over on May 27th. Needless to say, it was a first--and probably a bird I will never see again from the yard. The only other new visitor in 2007 (so far) was a Field Sparrow. My all-time yard list now stands at 104 species.

Copyright 2007 by Jeff Reiter. All Rights Reserved.