Fourteen Birds

A study finds that people are happier if they are exposed to more biodiversity of birds in their environment. Seeing fourteen different species of birds on a regular basis brings as much happiness as making an extra $150 a month would bring.

Despite my semi-urban environment, my yard is usually full of birds. But do we have fourteen species? Let’s see how many I can count. Here are the bird species I have seen in my yard:

A Cooper’s Hawk. This picture was actually taken in the yard of my old house, a few blocks from here. I have seen them in my new yard too, but this is the best photo I’ve been able to snap of one.
  • Cardinal
  • Blue jay
  • Sparrow
  • Chickadee
  • Catbird
  • Crow
  • Starling
  • Grackle
  • Carolina wren
  • Flicker
  • Downy woodpecker
  • Pileated woodpecker
  • Ruby-throated hummingbird
  • Robin
  • Cedar waxwing
  • Cooper’s hawk
  • Sharp-shinned hawk
  • Tufted titmouse
  • House finch
  • Mourning dove
  • Yellow-throated vireo
  • Ruby-crowned kinglet
  • Orange-crowned warbler
  • Common yellowthroat warbler

So, I’m already at 24 species, and I’m sure I could come up with more if I tried — not to mention all the birds I’ve seen but have not been able to identify. I’ve also spotted other bird species in (or over) my neighborhood that I have never actually seen in my own yard (goldfinches, bald eagles, turkeys….) In other words, all around us, happiness is chirping, warbling, squawking, and pooping on the car. But can I have the extra $150 a month, too?

What birds do you see where you live?

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