My Kind of Bird Watching


Nature Close to Home and Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Dave Woehr shares monthly naturalist stories.

LEBANON, OH -- Going into the third week of January we have only had a dusting of snow, but it certainly has been cold and windy. With temperatures near zero, this old boy isn’t out on the trails like he used to be at this time of the year.

I had to come up with Plan B to satisfy my appetite for wintertime nature. That plan involves simply sitting in my La-Z-Boy chair by the window overlooking the backyard bird feeders. And the birds have been quite active and entertaining. I can spend hours enjoying their constant comings and goings from daylight to nightfall. With my binoculars and camera at hand I can easily identify and document my sightings. 

So far, I’ve identified 30 species of birds enjoying my thistle seed, sunflower seed, and suet. That’s about average for my backyard winter sightings over the years. I was happy to find an Eastern Towhee and a Yellow-rumped Warbler just outside my window this week for their first visit this winter. This is all getting me into the mood to participate in the upcoming annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) that takes place in the middle of February each year. 

The dates this year are February 16 – 19. The GBBC is a citizen science effort that monitors bird population trends around the world. You can learn how to submit your sightings to the worldwide database by following the directions at

You can participate just by yourself, with friends, or an organized group. And, your sightings can be from your own home, neighborhood, local park, or wherever there are birds to be seen. There will be a free public GBBC event at Warren County Armco Park Saturday February 17 from 8 am until 1 pm. Another free local event for the Public will be Sunday February 18 from 8 am until 10 am at Miller Ecological Park in Lebanon. Details about these programs can be found on the Facebook pages for Warren County Park District Nature Programs and Miller Ecological Park. Other communities or nature clubs may offer similar events.

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