I wanted to remind all of my North American blog readers that February 12-15 is the Great Backyard Bird Count. Participating is easy - all you have to do is count birds for a minimum of 15 minutes and report your findings on the website. I've added a button to the side bar that I'll leave up through the count to help remind you (and me!) to participate. Last year, observers reported an astounding 620 species! It was during the bird count last February that I added a life bird of my own, the pine grosbeak.
This morning I did a little backyard bird count preview by spending an hour reading in the yard. During that time I heard and saw about seven or eight species, including black-capped chickadees, American crows, northern flickers, a varied thrush, and this red-breasted nuthatch:
There was another persistent trilling call that I couldn't recognize, but neither could I locate the bird. Many of the birds were "heard only", which can make counting up a tally of them difficult, but maybe I should brush up on my calls a little bit for the backyard bird count weekend anyway!