Become a Backyard Birder with Pleasant Ridge’s Neighborhood Bird Count

Written by Jennifer Korn, Branch Manager, Pleasant Ridge Branch Library  

Have you ever watched or heard geese honking as they fly in V formation overhead? Observed robins hopping around a yard looking for food? Wondered how pigeons thrive in the city? Guess what, you’re a birder! 

Birding Is for Everyone 

Anyone can be a birder. Staff at the Pleasant Ridge Branch Library grew curious about the birds in our neighborhood after watching a red-tailed hawk successfully hunt a smaller bird in our parking lot, and observing the sparrows and finches that nest in our landscape shrubs. 

All you need to start birding is a little curiosity, a window or access to some outside space, a few minutes to look or listen, and a guide from your local library branch or the library’s online collection. Birding, like any nature-related activity, relieves stress and exercises your brain. Birding fosters connection and community, as it is an activity that can be done with family and friends in person and remotely. 

How to participate 

The Pleasant Ridge Branch invites you to join us in our birding exploits with our Neighborhood Bird Count during the month of February. There are no rules or minimums and anyone of any age can participate.  

Use our online checklistprint one out from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, or use your own method for trackingjust be sure to share the results with us at if you would like them included in our results report. The checklist includes the birds you are most likely to see in Hamilton County in February. We are tallying and sharing the results after the count ends. Explore even further with the list of helpful books, videos, and web resources at the end of this post.  

If you want to take your birding skills to the next level, consider participating in the national Great Backyard Bird Count February 12-15. This data tracks bird populations and habit change and inform decisions about environmental and wildlife policy across the country. 

Whether you spy a bird outside your office window during a brief work break, observe birds while outside with your family, or keep regular birding appointments, we hope you join us in looking out for our feathered neighbors. 

Check out these other birding resources! 

Books for teens and adults:  

Sibley's Birding Basics

Birds of Ohio Field Guide

Books for kids:  

Look Up!

Every Day Birds

Streaming video:  

The National Geographic Guide to Birding in North America, a great course on birding, is free through the Library’s Kanopy streaming service. 

Other Library resources:  

Birds of America. 
Explore Audubon’s 1827 four-volume work on the birds of America from the comfort of your home.  

Discovery Pass to any of the Great Parks of Hamilton County Take your birding into the field by borrowing a parks pass from the Library! 

Web resources:  

Merlin Bird ID app 
A free and easy-to-use bird identification app available on multiple platforms. 

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Backyard Wildlife Guides Free guides about Ohio’s diverse wildlife.