Callaway Nature Preserve – January Update

For those of you unfamiliar with it, the Callaway Nature Preserve (CNP) is our name for our backyard. We have been diligently converting the yard from a grassy waste to a bird paradise. The CNP is located in the city of Rockford, Illinois (population 150,000+) and is only a 1/4 acre in size, but has attracted over 80 species of birds in the last 3 years. (The most recent new bird was a Wilson’s Warbler in September 2006).

CNP in Winter
January at the Callaway Nature Preserve

Our goal this year is 60 species, a lofty goal but we’ve been improving the landscape and watching much more intensely each year. The list so far, as of January 30, 2007 is as follows:

1. Red-tailed Hawk (year of the Red-tail, our first bird of 2007)
2. Black-capped Chickadee
3. Blue Jay
4. White-breasted Nuthatch
5. Mourning Dove
6. Cooper’s Hawk
7. Northern Cardinal
8. American Goldfinch
9. House Finch
10. Dark-eyed Junco
11. Downy Woodpecker
12. Red-bellied Woodpecker
13. American Crow
14. Canada Goose (flyover)
15. European Starling
16. House Sparrow

16/60 (26.7% of our goal) with 11 months left to go.

We also spotted a CNP first, a small group of Northern Flying Squirrels. Judging by the amounts of bird seed they consume, and their attempts at “flying”, they must think they are birds.

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