January 5th marks National Bird Day. January is a great time to begin to observe birds in your very own backyard. Birds are pretty active during the winter and much easier to spot during the winter since deciduous trees have dropped all their leaves. You may have heard about the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) the Audubon Society has done for over 100 years. Counting the birds every year around the same time can help evaluate the health of an ecosystem. Although the CBC is more official, the Audubon Society also runs the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) every year as well. The official GBBC count occurs over President's Day Weekend Feb 12-15th but it is best for kids of all ages to practice ahead of time so you can see become familiar with the birds in your yard. It will also give you the opportunity to note the difference in activity between different times of the day and month. The best part of the GBBC is that you get to become connected with the nature right outside your backdoor.
Count birds anywhere you like for at LEAST 15 minutes—or for as long as you wish. Keep track of the kinds of birds you see and how long you watched.
Make your best estimate of how many birds you saw of each species. For example, 5 Northern Cardinals, 3 American Crows. Huge flocks may be a challenge, but your best guess is still valuable.