Each year, we have a couple of bird counting events that take place during the cold months of the year. The Great American Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by Cornell University, is coming up February 20th. This is a great opportunity for those of us that have been hiding inside by the heater to get out and get some fresh air and check out some birds.
When Wilbur Weed first began his massive plantings, I wonder if he thought about the habitats he’d be creating for more than just our Boulder City residents. Or if his vision included our friends on wing? I bet he did!
Throughout the year, I’m sure you’ve noticed many different birds hanging around your yard or garden. Several of my gardening friends and neighbors tell me of their bird sightings. Hummingbirds are always a favorite, and often stay here year round. They’re quite smart, and are always drawn to feeders and blooming plants. House finches and sparrows have such lovely songs; they’re often heard more than seen, perhaps quickly hopping about in shrubs and trees. A common sight daily is our Gambel’s quail strutting about, with doves on the wires overhead. While we may not think about it, our neighborhoods are as much home to various birds as they are to us.
The wintertime often brings ‘snowbirds’ (not just the two legged kind) to southern Nevada, providing much activity for us to view and interact with. Birding isn’t just for the ‘brainiacs;’ the bird counts rely on all of us to gather and relay that important information. Any spot, in a yard or at a park works just fine.
Although our winters are mild compared to other parts of the country, and locally the birds are not in any danger that we know of, I love feeding the birdies during the cold months. February is designated as National Bird Feeding Month, so seed cakes are a welcome addition to the yard and garden, as well as keeping feeders filled. Remember to reuse and recycle: used bottles and containers make excellent feeders. Spring will be here before you know; could it be too soon to draw out some plans for a future garden? Or to start some seeds indoors? I’m thinking a hummingbird/butterfly garden sounds good. And Hollyhocks. Lots of Hollyhocks.