Winter Birding and the Great Backyard Bird Count

Wintertime is a great time to do birdwatching – it’s one of the activities you can do year-round here in Pisgah National Forest east of Asheville, North Carolina.

Whether you’re outside on a sunny warm-ish day or looking at the outdoors through the windows of the solarium or Great Room, or your guest room, our bird neighbors do not disappoint. In fact, the winter birds seem to be more laid back for some reason and stick around for good photo ops.

One event that puts a spotlight on birding in the winter (at least in our neck of the woods) is the Great Backyard Bird Count, or GBBC, held over a four-day period in February each year. The GBBC was launched by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society in 1998. Now in its 25th year, the citizen-science project offers a chance for you to watch and count the birds, then submit your observations online for use by bird researchers and scientists who track and analyze bird populations and migrating trends.

For details on how to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, visit https://www.birdcount.org/participate/.  

We welcome bird lovers to come to the Inn on Mill Creek any time, and the Great Backyard Bird Count is no different. We’re a designated birding hotspot on eBird, the website used to submit observations. If you’d like to do birdwatching in our backyard of Pisgah National Forest during the GBBC, or any day of the year, simply send us an note or call us at 828-668-1115 to let us know what day and time you’d like to come do birding on the property.

Here are the birds you might see at the Inn on Mill Creek Bed & Breakfast during the 2022 Great Backyard Bird Count, taking place February 18-22 this year – all photos taken at the Inn on Mill Creek B&B in Pisgah National Forest:

Small white bird with gray crest and tail sitting on upright shrub branch

Tufted Titmouse: year-round resident and our unofficial mascot

Striking red bird sitting on the top of a bare shrub near snow covered pine branches with a snowy pond in the background

Male Northern Cardinal: stunningly colorful against a winter backdrop

Light brown small bird standing in snow in front of an evergreen bush

Female Northern Cardinal: our cardinals had babies last year so we have quite a few

Fat bird with white chest and dark upper body sitting on a low shrub branch

Dark-eyed Juncos: our resident “floofs” in the winter, very plump and here in large numbers

Bird with speckled feathers and striped head perched on the side of a tree trunk

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers: a small and energetic woodpecker

Large dark bird sitting on the limb of a bare branched tree in the woods

American Crow: we have a whole family and have named the lead crow “Albert”

Other birds to keep an eye out for in our neck of the woods in February include the following – click the name of the bird for details:

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