Once again my daughter and I will be participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. You can join us at http://gbbc.birdcount.org/.
This fits in well with one of our favorite activities: watching birds and learning bird calls.
A great resource for learning bird calls is Daniel Kroodsma's Backyard Birdsong Guide. While it is not a comprehensive list of all birds in the are, it does cover most of the common birds you're likely to see in your backyard and provides good examples of the bird calls.
We've been listening to birds for about 3 years now and have learned quite a few calls. For the inexperienced bird watcher (and I am certainly one!) a good lesson to learn is that you really can detect more birds by sound than sight. Spotting birds high up in the trees is very difficult even with binoculars. But, if you know bird calls it really increases your ability to recognize birds in your are.
During the summer we have several Indigo Buntings and Eastern Towhees in our area. While I've seen them both a few times, we enjoy hearing them quite often. And, it's great fun for my daughter to be able to recognize the birds by hearing them.
Other birds we enjoy hearing where we live in rural Kentucky include Barred Owl, Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Robins, and Crows.
So, for the next few days we'll be counting birds, listening, and learning some new bird calls. We've already seen a couple of Bluebirds and Robins so spring can't be far off!