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Found throughout the year in Wyoming and at your feeder, the black-capped chickadee has a spherical body shape with a long, narrow tail and short bill.
Most distinctive is the black 'cap' on its head and white cheeks.
The dark-eyed junco likes forests in the summers, but in the winter you’ll see them in fields or backyards. They like the ground and will hop at the base of trees and shrubs.
They’re distinctive because of their long tail and dark gray or brown bodies. They have pink bills and white, outer tail feathers visible during flight.
The American goldfinch generally prefers weedy fields and floodplains, but are common at bird feeders especially during the winter.
In the spring and summer, adult males are bright yellow with a black forehead and black wings. The yellow is less vivid in the winter, so look for the black on the wings.
The pine siskin breeds in parts of Wyoming in the summer, but will also fly north to breed. They are common throughout the winter.
Identify the pine siskin by its streaked brown feathers often with yellow on the wings.
The Lapland longspur comes in the fall and leaves by summer. You will see them along roadsides, especially if a field with seeds is nearby.
Identify the Lapland longspur by its streaked sides, black face and chest and yellowish eye stripe.
Most people see the rough-legged hawk by the side of the highway in the winter. They breed in the northern forests of Canada and Alaska in the summers and only come down to Wyoming to feed in the cold months.
Identify the hawk by a black spot under each wing, easy to spot during flight.
You’re most likely to see a snow bunting in the northeast part of the state. Don’t look in the trees, they’re ground feeders and most abundant during those mid-winter months.
The snow bunting is mostly white with a black tail and brownish back.
Bird watchers often confuse the cedar waxwing and the bohemian waxwing. While both birds are in Wyoming, the bohemian waxwing can only be found in the winter.
They are usually visible at lower elevations in the northeastern part of the state. They travel in groups and, if you see one, you're likely to see more.
The Bohemian waxwing has yellow on its tail, white and yellow feather edging on its wings and as a crest on the top of its head.
They are usually visible at lower elevations in the northeastern part of the state. They travel in groups and if you see one you're likely to see more.
It’s like a science project for the country.
Not only do you help collect critical data during the Great
Backyard Bird Count, but you also get to play outside, said Jacelyn
Downey, a community naturalist for Audubon Wyoming.
“It’s very easy. You don’t have to be in a special location, you
can look out your backyard or go somewhere nice. It’s very
adaptable to what you’re doing that day,” she said.
The Great Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by the Cornell Lab of
Ornithology and the Audubon Society, starts Friday and runs through
Monday. Amateur ornithologists anywhere can count and record birds
Birds are too numerous and spread out for scientists to track on
their own. This means parents, kids, teachers or birders can be
citizen-scientists for a weekend.
The data gives scientists an idea of where and how many birds
are in each location. This then helps scientists monitor migration
patterns and population changes.
Here are eight Wyoming birds you might find on your count. The
first four — black-capped chickadees, goldfinches, pine siskins and
black-eyed juncos — are common to the state any time of the year
and you may see them at your feeders, Downey said.
The last four — Bohemian waxwings, Lapland longspurs, snow
buntings and rough-legged hawks — are winter birds, breeding
farther north and coming down into Wyoming in the winter for
Reach Open Spaces reporter Christine Peterson at (307) 460-9598