365 Nature – Day 31

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


Today I decided to do my first Project Feederwatch. I got ready, binoculars on the window ledge, camera out, tally sheet filled out and then I sat down. At first all went well, I counted two Black-capped Chickadees, a handful of Dark-eyed Juncos and an Anna’s Hummingbird. I also ticked off House Finches, first two, then four, then eight then finally twelve at once.

And then, suddenly, all the birds disappeared. I looked around, no cats. I searched the trees, no hawks. I listened, no bird sounds at all. Usually when there’s a predator around I hear about it, but they were all silent. I sat and waited, waited and sat. For probably ten minutes I sat and watched with not a single bird coming back to the yard. Eventually a Black-capped Chickadee flew to the feeder, then an Anna’s Hummingbird. But although I sat for an entire hour, the birds never really came back. Until I was done. After I put everything away the feeders were suddenly full again.

Kelly Brenner
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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She founded The Metropolitan Field Guide in 2009 and has contributed articles to aincluding Crosscut, ParentMap and National Wildlife Magazine. She holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

She is currently writing a book about urban nature to be published by Mountaineers Books in 2019.
Kelly Brenner
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