“Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together.”
Translated from Old English, “Birds of the same kind and color flock and fly always together.” Since the mid-16th century this flighty proverb has been used literally and figuratively. Literally, birds of a single species often form flocks. For our feathered friends, this behavior is a survival instinct used to ward off or reduce attack from predators. Figuratively, the phrase underwent rewording which better describes human behavior. The updated version stated, “Birds of a feather flock together.” It possessed a nice rhyming sound, easy to remember, and pronounce. Defined, “Those of similar taste congregate in groups.” So, why the interest in birds? It is time for the 2018 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)!
Participation in GBBC is simple, free, and open to everyone. Join other ornithologists around the world, the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology February 16th – 19th. Spending just a short amount of time, 15 minutes each day, not only gets you outdoors, taking part contributes to a large body of research. The Audubon Society of Greater Denver, can give you the information showing how to look for our winged companions. You will not see every bird this month because of our unique climate and migratory patterns.
Species you may encounter this time of the year are; Blackbirds, Bluebirds, Bushtits, Chickadees, Brown Creepers, Crossbills, Finches, Grosbeaks, Jays, Juncos, Kinglets, Titmouse (yes, it’s a bird!), Towhees, Woodpeckers, and Wrens. The GBBC is not limited to February. The celebration continues because birders across the world are taking part in the 100th anniversary signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). So, if your February calendar is booked, Audubon and its partners will host activities every month posting in magazines, television, even on eBird and Twitter. You can join the “Year of the Bird” throughout 2018. Your efforts will help countless bird species continue, “flying and flocking together!”