One of the must do tasks for New Year’s Day around here is to total up the number of species of birds that we have heard or seen in or from our garden during the preceding year.

The garden list for 2021 topped off at a gratifying 76 different species of birds.

For those who understand the importance of this sort of thing, the birds that honoured us with their presence were the following. Note that this list is given in taxonomic sequence which groups together related species and makes it easier to digest the data.

One of the reasons I share this list every year is to encourage our neighbours to get out and look at the birds in their own gardens. Too often when talking about these things I am greeted by “Wow!” or perhaps “Nothing much – just a few Sparrows and a Cardinal” or something like that. Yet there is nothing that special about our garden, other than the native plants we encourage, because all these birds have to cross other gardens and parks to get to us and could as easily be seen in those locations. The trick really is to make a point of actively and regularly observing and I hope sharing our lists will encourage our friends and neighbours to start keeping their own records in a spirit of friendly rivalry.

For the record – 2022 started with a couple of Mourning Doves.

** There are a few highlight photographs below the list

Taxonomic Sequence – Garden 2021

Canada Goose – Branta canadensis
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Chimney Swift – Chaetura pelagica
Ruby-throated Hummingbird – Archilochus colubris
Ring-billed Gull – Larus delawarensis
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Sharp-shinned Hawk – Accipiter striatus
Cooper’s Hawk – Accipiter cooperii
Red-tailed Hawk – Buteo jamaicensis
Great Horned Owl – Bubo virginianus
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Sphyrapicus varius
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Downy Woodpecker – Dryobates pubescens
Hairy Woodpecker – Dryobates villosus
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus
Merlin – Falco columbarius
Least Flycatcher – Empidonax minimus
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher – Myiarchus crinitus
Blue-headed Vireo – Vireo solitarius
Warbling Vireo – Vireo gilvus
Red-eyed Vireo – Vireo olivaceus
Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata
American Crow – Corvus brachyrhynchos
Common Raven – Corvus corax
Black-capped Chickadee – Poecile atricapillus
Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Corthylio calendula
Golden-crowned Kinglet – Regulus satrapa
Red-breasted Nuthatch – Sitta canadensis
White-breasted Nuthatch – Sitta carolinensis
Brown Creeper – Certhia americana
Winter Wren – Troglodytes hiemalis
Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovicianus (nested and raised young – see photo)
European Starling – Sturnus vulgaris
Gray Catbird – Dumetella carolinensis
Swainson’s Thrush – Catharus ustulatus
Hermit Thrush – Catharus guttatus
American Robin – Turdus migratorius
Cedar Waxwing – Bombycilla cedrorum
House Sparrow – Passer domesticus
House Finch – Haemorhous mexicanus
Purple Finch – Haemorhous purpureus
Common Redpoll – Acanthis flammea
Pine Siskin – Spinus pinus
American Goldfinch – Spinus tristis
Chipping Sparrow – Spizella passerina
American Tree Sparrow – Spizelloides arborea
Fox Sparrow – Passerella iliaca
Dark-eyed Junco – Junco hyemalis
White-crowned Sparrow – Zonotrichia leucophrys
White-throated Sparrow – Zonotrichia albicollis
Song Sparrow – Melospiza melodia
Baltimore Oriole – Icterus galbula
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Brown-headed Cowbird – Molothrus ater
Common Grackle – Quiscalus quiscula
Ovenbird – Seiurus aurocapilla
Northern Waterthrush – Parkesia noveboracensis
Nashville Warbler – Leiothlypis ruficapilla
Common Yellowthroat – Geothlypis trichas
American Redstart – Setophaga ruticilla
Cape May Warbler – Setophaga tigrina
Northern Parula – Setophaga americana
Magnolia Warbler – Setophaga magnolia
Bay-breasted Warbler – Setophaga castanea
Blackburnian Warbler – Setophaga fusca
Yellow Warbler – Setophaga petechia
Chestnut-sided Warbler – Setophaga pensylvanica
Blackpoll Warbler – Setophaga striata
Black-throated Blue Warbler – Setophaga caerulescens
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Black-throated Green Warbler – Setophaga virens
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Rose-breasted Grosbeak – Pheucticus ludovicianus