This was my fourth year to do the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) and enter their bird photo contest. This year, being a CAMN member, I got to use the time counting birds as part of my volunteer hours. I did my bird count from the deck in my backyard. I have thirteen bird feeders and six suet feeders.
The bird counting was easy for me but taking pictures was more difficult this year. I fell and broke my arm one week before the bird count started. I used a 400 mm lens on my camera which is large and heavy. I rested the lens on the cast on my right arm (I am right handed). Somehow I managed to take a few shots without camera shake.
So far more than 5,400 http://wordpress.arkansasmasternaturalists.org/wp-content/uploads/images have been entered in the 2013 GBBC photo contest. This year 1,700 photos have been added to the online photo gallery, the largest selection ever posted. It is a great site to go to improve your bird identification skills.
I have never had a winning photo but it is always fun to get my photos in the GBBC bird photo gallery on their web site. In 2009 I did have one of my bird photos chosen for release to the news media and printed in Wild Bird magazine.
I have noticed over the years of doing the GBBC I don’t have as many songbirds as I did when I first started counting birds despite my many bird feeders. I certainly have plenty of grackles to eat my birdseed!