Still Winter or Ready for Spring?

Are you so ready for spring? For a large part of the country, spring and its fever are just around the corner, and with it, bird migration. The earliest migration date here in Cincinnati is April 12, with the return of the Chestnut-sided warbler. Scores of other birds will soon follow. The excitement of their beauty and color are a spring bellwether. Attract them to your yard this year with a little pre-planning as we finish out winter. Find out:

The Top 5 Ways to Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard

However; for some, Old Man Winter is not quite ready to rest.  According to weather reports, beginning this Sunday (2/20) and lasting through Tuesday, snow may develop in the Plains and Great Lakes and spread into parts of the East.  Even sleet and freezing rain may slicken roads from Nebraska into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. Bird lovers in these northern parts of the country may be a bit more interested in:

The Top 5 Ways to Help Birds Survive Winter

Icy Landing Strip

House finch on ice branch

This House Finch flew into my kitchen window, no doubt because he thought he saw another bird. Stunned, he flew to this nearby branch and stayed a good long time. Enough to get a few good shots of him. I usually see him from the front at my window feeder. This was a rare treat to see his beautiful light red markings on his back.

Cornell’s Big Count Count

Gear up for the 112th Great Backyard Bird Count, coming February 18 – 22. A joint project of the Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent.  Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.

How do I participate?

1.COUNT THE BIRDS! – Count birds at any location for a minimum of 15 minutes. You can count for a longer period, but 15 minutes is the required minimum for entering data.
2. WRITE IT DOWN – Write down the highest number of each species you see together at any given time to avoid counting the same birds twice.
3. SUBMIT YOUR DATA – Submit your data on a new checklist for each day you participate in the count.
4. ENTER YOUR CHECKLIST(S) – When you’re ready to enter your checklist(s), go to the GBBC website at
5. LOCATION – Record the location of your count using your zip code.
6. RECORD DETAILS – Via an online form you will in your checklist recording which day the count is for, habitat type, snow depth, and other elemental factors.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is also a great way to engage young children and teach them about birds.