You can practice your counting skills as we approach the Christmas Bird Counts throughout the area in December. Bob Danley in a recent Bitterroot Outdoor Journal on KLYQ Radio had suggestions:

Identification (2 steps):

  • Determine the General Impressions of Size and Shape (GISS - from WWII aircraft spotting)
  • More detail - start at the head and work to the tail, how big some parts of the body are compared to other parts - size of bill, length of tail, etc.
  • Additionally - capture sounds and note bird behavior, like hopping, flight, or water action.
  • Counting:

  • Birds don't stay still, so quickly develop a system of counting by blocks of 5, 10, 20 or more. Practice with the photos above and below.
  • When are the Bird Counts? We have some of the information for you right here.

    Waterfowl above. (Bob Danley photo)