Setting my hypochondria aside for a minute, with outside birding out of the question Ingrid and I decided to participate in the Audubon Great Backyard Bird Count. It’s a pretty informal count: for any period of time over the President’s Day weekend, count all the species and individual birds you see in your yard and submit it to eBird.
Do be honest, Ingrid and I are not counters of individual birds . . . while some of our birding friends would never consider a birding excursion without counting every bird, we find the process frustrating. Is this the same White-breasted Nuthatch I saw five minutes ago? How many mallards are in that flock?
Ingrid and I set aside an hour from 10:00 to 11:00 to count birds . . . and only from our living room and bedroom windows. This started slowly (I wanted to quit after 15 minutes, being sick and all) but we preservered and things livened up when the sun came out. We spotted 17 species and 51 individual birds . . . the Audubon Great Backyard Bird Count is over for another year.