December Bird Study and Nature Notes

Our December bird study has been accomplished by participation in Project Feederwatch.

We didn’t see a Belted Kingfisher for that particular Outdoor Hour Challenge. As much as I travel in California, I have never seen one in real life. I used the location and species application over on the Great Backyard Bird Count website to local possible locations for future observation. It looks like that we can find them within an hour’s drive of our house which is encouraging.

Anna hummingbird

Here are our details for Project Feederwatch so far in the month of December.

  1. Anna’s hummingbird-1
  2. Western scrub jay-2
  3. Titmouse-2
  4. House finch-12
  5. Junco-9
  6. California towhee-2
  7. Spotted towhee-3
  8. Sooty fox sparrow-2
  9. White-crowned sparrow-8 (no house sparrows yet!)
  10. Mourning dove-2
  11. Downy Woodpecker-1
  12. Mockingbird-1
  13. American robin-5
  14. Lesser goldfinch-6
  15. Western bluebird-3
  16. Northern flicker-3
  17. European starling-6
  18. White-breasted nuthatch-1

Spotted towhee Dec 2014

Other Nature Notes

  • Aside from counting birds this month, I have been keeping track of rainfall. Yes, we have had rain! Our rain gauge has measured a total of 11 inches of rain since 12/1/14. We have been so dry that we don’t mind the rainy days at all!
  • We have had some beautiful orange-pink sunrises in the last week with the stormy clouds.
  • The last of the autumn leaves are down from the trees.
  • My Zygocactus has started to bloom.
  • We have several rose buds on the plant.
  • My early spring Narcissus bulbs are blooming! I think they are a little mixed up about the season.


 This year I am pretty much on my own for weekday nature walks.  I am scheduling in at least two long walks a week because walking and thinking are so very refreshing. Just getting outside in the air to observe the season takes a little effort but it is never disappointing. Let me how you are able to keep your nature walks going during the winter. I will be writing an article for an up-coming newsletter about the benefits of regular outdoor time for families.

How is your December looking?




  1. We have lots of snow, just over a foot and more in drifts. Its been a milder December than normal so that has been nice for getting outside. We decided to study winter weeds since our climate is very wintery. We find all sorts of neat weeds sticking up out of the snow. Its neat how many we can see like purple vetch that we can’t see well in the summer time because there are too many leaves. We have found that with lots of bundling up that getting out in the winter is possible even in the cold. Even if its just for a short while when its very very cold it makes everyone feel much better. Sometimes it feels hardly worth it when I spend more time bundling up the kids than we are able to spend outside because of the extreme cold but we all come back in feeling much better. We bring a sled to pull the littler ones when they get tired (even more so with heavy boots and snowsuits). There are always neat snowflakes and icicles to look at.

    • I can understand the effort to bundle the kids up to get them outside…I never enjoyed putting gloves on little hands. I applaud your effort though and it sounds like you find some interesting things to observe once you are out. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Just wondering…do you ever see birds other than hummingbirds at your hummingbird feeders?

  3. You saw such a variety of birds this month. What a joy it must be to see hummingbirds even in the winter! It’s pretty limited here in terms of birds now since it’s winter. Most have migrated to much warmer places than Minnesota.

    • Barb McCoy says:

      We haven’t always had hummingbirds all winter but it seems to be a regular thing now. We actually have more birds at our feeders in the winter than we do any other time of the year. You must look forward to spring and the return of the birds, anticipating their return is a science.

  4. We keep a list of birds we see during the year. I never thought to keep a tally during our winter months. I love that idea. Your blog is so inspiring.

    • Barb McCoy says:

      I think you would find it very interesting to see the changes in your bird population between the seasons. Enjoy!

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