MAYBE YOU’VE spied a curious cardinal on your fence post or seen a pair of doves roosting in the eaves. If you have, you’re already halfway to helping the scientists at the Audubon Society keep track of the feathered set who call this neck of the woods home. For four days each February, the society enlists the help of regular joes—seasoned birdwatchers and novices alike—to collect real-time data, which helps them better grasp the “big picture” bird population. (Last year, that picture was quite big: data trickled in from more than 180,000 checklists tallied in more than 100 countries.) To take part, all you need’s an eBird log-in (follow the link below), a good eye and a working knowledge of the types of birds that might be hanging around your feeders. To help, we asked Audubon Arkansas’ conservation director Dr. Dan Scheiman to give us some insight on the 10 species we’re most likely to see in Arkansas backyards.

The Great Backyard Bird Count runs from Feb. 16-19. To register visit