It's Christmas Bird Count (CBC) time again. The last three years, I've been going on the Hoover Reservoir CBC here in Columbus, but haven't taken part in any others. This season, thanks to the good graces of my lovely and patient wife, I am taking part in three counts - the Hoover count tomorrow, the Columbus count Sunday, and the Kingston count on January 1st.
The weather is not supposed to be good - we have a winter storm warning and are supposed to get snow and icy rain tomorrow (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it won't get warm enough to rain). This may work to our advantage, as it should keep traffic low and bring birds into feeders for easier counting.
My greatest CBC of all time was the backwoods portion of a Houghton County, Michigan, CBC, back in the 1990s, when I had my life Great Grey Owl, Northern Goshawk, and Ruffed Grouse.
Also a past highlight was my life Northern Shrike during an in-town portion of the same CBC circle in the 80s.
Not to say the Hoover CBC has been small potatoes for me, as it gave me my life Barred Owl.
But the whole point is to participate in a ritual with other birders, that spans 108 years of birding in America. It's one of the highlights of every birder's year.