Last Bird, First Bird, Best Bird

Mourning doves in January (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

2 January 2023

Think about the birds you saw last weekend. What species was your Last Bird of 2022?  What was your First Bird of 2023? Did you have a Best Bird?

Perhaps your Last and First birds were at your feeders. Mourning doves are often last of the day because they wait until near darkness to race to their roost.

First Bird may have been a northern cardinal that’s not afraid to come out in the half light of dawn.

Northern cardinal eating sunflower seeds (photo by Chuck Tague)

My own sightings were larger species.

Last Bird of 2022: American crows seen while counting 20,000 of them flying to the roost.

American crows flying to the roost, Oct 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

First Bird of 2023: A red-tailed hawk flying above Fifth Avenue while I drove out to go birding in Lawrence County. I saw six more red-tails on my journey north.

Red-tailed hawk in flight, 2013 (photo by Cris Hamilton)

Best Bird was a surprise. As our birding group paused on Plain Grove Road in Lawrence County a flock of 55 tundra swans flew over in a perfect V. (Steve Gosser photographed these in 2012.)

Tundra swans in flight, 2012 (photo by Steve Gosser)

Last Bird? First Bird? Best Bird? Tell me what you saw.

(photos from Wikimedia Commons, Chuck Tague, Cris Hamilton, Kate St. John and Steve Gosser)

6 thoughts on “Last Bird, First Bird, Best Bird

  1. My best bird was a yellow bellied sapsucker at my suet feeder on December 23. It was trying to survive the bitter cold of minus four, and the 50 mph wind gusts. It shivered at times and I wondered if it would live to see another day. Miraculously, it survived and is still coming to the suet.

  2. Last: RTH, first: Robin… Best: 2 juvie cooper’s hawks screeching from nearby pine trees and then chasing after mom and dad!

  3. Last: Red-tailed hawk while out on a walk. First: Canada Geese flying in a V overhead and talking a lot (which is why we looked up). Best: Cormorants swimming in a lake in mid-September Ohio.

  4. My last bird of 2022 was a Blue Jay in Erie, my first birds of 2023 were a few Dark-eyed Juncos in Swissvale, and my best bird of 2022 was a California Condor in Big Sur, CA, on October 1.

  5. Hello. My last bird was a Dark-eyed Junco , Christmas day at my Brother’s house in Worthington. First was a Tufted Titmouse , outside my kitchen window , near Pittsburgh.

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