Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bald eagles and backyard birds

Massachusetts completed its annual bald eagle bird count this weekend and spotted 70 birds across the state, 17 of them along the Connecticut River and another 26 at Quabbin Reservoir-- not bad for a population once considered almost too far in decline to save. Goodbye DDT, hello eagles.

Here in Springfield, I've seen bald eagles on Allen St. and Rifle St., drawn, I think, by merging of the Mill and Connecticut Rivers. If you've yet to see one, start looking up.

The majority of us, of course, will remain most familiar with our backyard birds. The National Bird-Feeding Society can tell you exactly what food attracts what birds, and how to make your backyard, if you're lucky enough to have one, friendly to a wide variety of local species.

My particular dream has been to have birds eating out of my hand, and the other day I found a site that told me exactly how to do it-- doesn't even seem that hard. Maybe winter isn't the best time to try it, because it does require sitting still for a while. You can find out how at Attract Wild Birds.

Photo from Powdermill Bird Banding

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