And so another Great Backyard Bird Count weekend draws to a close. The GBBC indicates that over 3800 bird species have been observed, and over 110,000 checklists submitted, with a few hours left for some owl species to be counted. The Mellowcat did our bit by submitting 5 checklists, counting 26 species and 133 individual birds at the backyard feeder. For Mellowcat GBBC Completists, here’s the tally sheet.

GBBC Tally

We went into the field yesterday and today, and garnered even more birds, including the Loggerhead Shrike.

Loggerhead Shrike

There are many cool things about this bird, but hands down it has one of the better bird names. Other birds are not so fortunate. I’m thinking about the Eared Grebe, for instance. Excellent bird, terrible name. We met the Shrike at Coyote Hills, where we also stumbled upon a Turkey Vulture nest. They’re not big nest builders, I have learned. They’ll look for something that’s ready-made for nesting, like a rock crevice, and use that. And once they pick their spot, they’ll nest there for a long time – like, ten years or more. We saw TV’s congregating around this rock formation.

Turkey Vulture nest

There are some secret places between the rocks, and we saw the birds going in and out. Heaven knows what they’ve got stashed in there.

It’s quite something to observe how things operate out here. The animals have all these systems figured out for themselves. Back at the home feeder I’m struggling to find a way to discourage the squirrel attacks. So far, I am being outwitted.

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