Big Year 2016: Home is where the Yearbirds Are

Eye on the Sky

Sometimes you don’t have to go very far to find some new birds. My backyard is usually mostly the same – albeit still interesting – species, but between my feeders and my walk to and from the train, new things come by every so often.

Early on in the week, after my trip to Tinicum, Shari and I went to our local park to walk the dog and had a BELTED KINGFISHER. That was my last time being able to do real birding but my feeders always bring in great birds and my walks to work tend to also show some surprises from time to time (like the wild turkey in early January).

On Monday of last week, I was walking and heard the tell-tale call of a KILLDEER flying across the PATCO parking lot. I got to see it for a brief moment as it wheeled and disappeared. It seemed a little early to have killdeer in the area this early but not unheard of. They nest on the roof of a local building every summer, giving me the occasional sighting some mornings as they call. Killdeer are known for nesting in gravel along raidroads, parking lots and similarly “unsafe” places. However, gravel roofs provide the same habitat in a much, much safer location for the killdeer.

And on Thursday, I was walking home early when the throaty calls of a pair of FISH CROW near the parking lot of PATCO. I saw two dark crows in the distance, their bobbing heads matching the timing of the crows’ calls – bird #111 for the year.


  • 109) Belted Kingfisher
  • 110) Killdeer
  • 111) Fish Crow
2016 YTD Tally
111 Species – Month 69
Lifers 7
NJ Species 101
NJ Lifers 7

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