On Friday, February 17, the annual Great Backyard Bird Count begins.
This will be my 6th year to participate. Over the years, I have counted a high of 12 species on one day, and a total of 231 birds. Last year, at my location purple finches and northern cardinals were the most common.
The year before, cedar waxwings came through, and I counted 11 at one time, and they were the most common.
In 2008, a red-tailed hawk spent time in the backyard on one of the days.
But my best sighting has been a Eurasian Collared Dove, a pair actually. But it wasn't during the Great Backyard Bird Count. I wrote about it here, on March 31, 2008.
Last year there were 13 lists submitted from Bessemer. An additional 8 were submitted from McCalla. I think we can do better than that.
Get your binoculars out. It only takes 15 minutes or so each day, and you just sit on your porch or elsewhere and look at the birds. There are resources here to help you identify, if you don't have a bird book (doesn't everyone?)