In our yard, GLOBAL BIG DAY came early!

This year’s Global Big Day logo. Artwork by Luke Seitz.

Global Big Day–an annual event in which birders all over the country watch and count birds in the name of citizen science–happens at the beginning of the migration season, in early May. This year, it’s next Saturday, May 9!

Although we won’t be doing our usual driving everywhere–to parks and other places–due to the pandemic, we will definitely be participating from our own back porch. You can, too! If you’ve already got some feeders up, you’re all set. Grab your coffee, cocktails and binoculars and get ready! Here’s where to go for more info:

Northern Cardinals - Courtship Display

In this courtship display, a male northern cardinal feeds a female. Photo by Nathan Schoonover.

On that note, it appears the birds don’t know or care that it’s Global Big Day, because they were all here this weekend. In addition to our regulars (usually between 10 and 15 species), we had several transients, as well as new birds we hope will settle down with us for the summer. Here’s the complete list of all the birds I saw this weekend (Nathan saw a few more than I did; he spent more time outside). New-to-the-yard birds for THIS YEAR (meaning they’ve been here in prior years, but haven’t shown up yet in 2020) and transients (mostly the warblers) are in blue.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

A male rose-breasted grosbeak checks out the feast on our porch railing. Photo by Nathan Schoonover

Rose-breasted Grosbeak – M and F

Tufted Titmouse

Eastern Bluebird – M and F

American Goldfinch

Cooper’s Hawk

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

White-breasted Nuthatch

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee

This male eastern towhee and his girlfriend started showing up a week or two ago. Photo by Nathan Schoonover

House Sparrow

Mourning Dove

Tufted Titmouse

A tufted titmouse loses his mind over all this free fluff for his nest! Photo by Nathan Schoonover

White-throated Sparrow

Northern Cardinal – M and F; courtship display

Blue Jay

Northern Flicker

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler

This pine warbler was in this feeder, like, ALL DAY LONG. Photo by Nathan Schoonover

Black-and-White Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

I was so happy to see this black-and-white warbler! We get at least one or two stopovers from this guy every year. He will usually hang around for a few days. Photo by Nathan Schoonover

Carolina Wren

Black-capped Chickadee

House Finch – M and F; courtship display

Broadwing Hawk

Chipping Sparrow

European Starling

Song Sparrow

Red-tailed Hawk

Purple Finch – M

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Red-shouldered Hawk

Hairy Woodpecker

American Crow

House Sparrow

American Redstart

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Gray Catbird

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

Baltimore Oriole – M

American Robin

Eastern Phoebe

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of both the New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers Association. Follow her adventures at

Posted on May 3, 2020, in Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow, you sure do know a lot of different birds. You’re right, with a cocktail or coffee, this would make a great afternoon date with a sweetheart.

  2. It totally is!! I used to do it in the morning–me and Nathan would sit and drink our coffee and get a count in before getting ready for work–but lately it’s been too crazy for me to get out the door because of the pandemic, which makes me late, so I can’t enjoy the time. So now I only do it on weekends.

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