This week, “Percy Jackson” and other new movies, the Winter Olympics, the NBA All-Star festivities, the Great Backyard Bird Count and Valentine’s Day.

For the birds

This weekend is the annual Great Backyard Bird Count, so if you’re a nature lover in general or a bird lover in particular, take some time to participate in this nationwide event. All you need do is keep track of all the birds you see in your backyard or local park for at least 15 minutes, and then report your findings at www.birdcount.org. “Taking part in the Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way to get outside with family and friends, have fun and help birds," said Audubon Education Vice President Judy Braus. For checklists and more information about the bird count, go to www.birdsource.org/gbbc.


Winter Games open


The XXI Olympic Winter Games open Friday in Vancouver. The fun begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC with the opening ceremonies, and there will be events taking place all weekend (and until Feb. 28). Fifteen sporting events are set these games, and coverage will be on NBC channels throughout the Olympics. For schedules, news and more, go to www.vancouver2010.com.


At the movies


It’s a big weekend at the box office, with several highly anticipated movies opening. For children, there is “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” a movie based on the book of the same name. It’s rated PG and looks to be in the same vein as the Harry Potter films. For adults, there’s “The Wolfman,” an R-rated movie starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins. This film looks to be a fun horror movie – how can you not be entertained by a werewolf flick? And for romantics and men looking to impress their ladies, there’s “Valentine's Day,” a PG-13 film starring seemingly every famous actor in Hollywood. Guys, if you need another romantic-movie suggestion, check out “When in Rome” or “Dear John.”


Stars on display


If you don’t get your sports fix this weekend with the Winter Olympics, be sure to check out all the NBA All-Star festivities. The fun begins Friday night and continues through the actual All-Star Game on Sunday, when LeBron James and the Eastern Conference stars face off against Kobe Bryant and the Western Conference stars. The game is at 7 p.m. ET Sunday on TNT. For news, schedules and more, go to www.nba.com/allstar2010.


And most importantly …


Sunday is Valentine’s Day. Let’s repeat that so all the men out there don’t forget and ruin their relationship: Sunday is Valentine’s Day. There are many ways to celebrate the day, and it certainly doesn’t have to be on Sunday (most couples are planning to hit the romantic hot spots on Saturday). You could go to a nice restaurant, go to a spa or masseuse, go to the zoo or a museum – just make sure you pamper the woman in your life, men.


GateHouse News Service