The Great Backyard Bird Count: Meet Wright Library's Resident Birder

For the next four days, people all over the world will participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count. 

Here’s how it works: Simply watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 12-15, 2021, and share what you see at Great Backyard Bird Count online. 

In honor of The Great Backyard Bird Count, we caught up with Wright Library associate Melissa, who began birding a few years ago. We also have a great list of bird-related books and materials, including one Melissa credits with helping her identify bird songs and calls.  


Meet Melissa

Melissa Wright Library

How long have you been birding? 

I've been birding since 2015, I think. 2016 was the first year I went to Magee Marsh, up by Cleveland, for "The Biggest Week in American Birding," when all the warblers migrate through in early May. I couldn't go last year because the boardwalks don't really allow for social distancing, so I'm really hoping it's something I can do this year. 


What is your favorite bird to spot?

My favorite bird that I've been lucky enough to see every year is the prothonatory warble. It's just this little ball of flying sunshine that darts all over, and they have so much personality! 


My favorite that I've only seen once thus far is the green heron, which is just so cool with so much attitude. 

green heron

Do you have any book recommendations?

The audiobook Bird Songs: Common Birds of Ohio. So I’m still really, really bad at identifying birds by song or call, but any and all skill I have came from my copy of this CD. 

More Resources

Check out this list of bird-related books and materials from Wright Library

Wright Library Community Read of the book “Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Begins in Yard” by Douglas Tallamy s a practical guide for creating habitats that will attract and sustain birds in urban and suburban areas.

Be sure to mark April 29 on your calendars for a virtual author visit from Tallamy and stay tuned for related programming!

Read Nature's Best Hope.

Audubon article on The Great Backyard Birdcount