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Winter is for the Brrr…irds!

A Cardinal sits on a snowy tree branch.

Winter is for the Brrr…irds!

Are you part of a cast (crows), party (jays) or charm (finches) of bird enthusiasts? Join over 47 million Americans, roughly 20 percent of the nation’s population, who enjoy bird watching!

About Birding

There’s no better time to learn about our local birds than during the winter months. Without leaves on the trees, it’s much easier to see a variety of birds among the bare branches.  With their high metabolism and light weight, birds need to eat A LOT throughout the day so they are more often seen as they actively seek out food.

When looking for birds, keep an eye on “transition areas” where lawns or meadows give way to shrubs, or where shrubs lead into forest. These areas provide birds with the greatest variety of plants for food and shelter from hungry predators.

For the best birding, we suggest bundling up in layers and heading to your Cincinnati Parks. Because parks are designed to provide open space for us humans and a variety of natural habitats for wildlife, transition areas are common and easy to find.  You can also enjoy colorful bird activity from the warm side of a window by utilizing well-placed bird feeders in your yard!

Get Involved

Whether you’re an experienced birder or new to the flock, join our annual National Audubon Bird Counts: Calling All Birders event, in partnership with the Audubon Society! The Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count has been a tradition since 1900, and is essential to tracking the health of bird populations. According to the Audubon Society, the data collected by citizen scientists like you allows researchers, conservation biologists and wildlife agencies to “study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.”

Join other birders Sunday, Dec. 23 and 30, (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) as we improve our identification skills and gain knowledge of avian population trends in Hamilton County. Full or half-day birders are welcome to join! Binoculars and ID books will be available to borrow. If the comforts of home are your choice for those Sundays, you can still contribute to the national database by counting the feathered visitors to your feeders. (Email erin.morris@cincinnati-oh.gov before December 21 to be sent a tally sheet and basic bird identification sheet.)

For more information about joining our bird count efforts, call Erin Morris at 513-321-6070 or email Erin.morris@cincinnati-oh.gov.