Feb 162012

Counting Birds

The annual Great Backyard Bird Count is taking place on Friday, February 17th through Monday, February 20th, 2012. What is the GBBC, how can I participate and why count birds?

What is the GBBC? The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual bird counting event conducted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. People of all ages take part in this event to count birds in their area. You can count birds in your backyard, at your bird feeder, in the park or any other place in your area. This 4-day event has bird watchers counting birds for as little as 15 minutes a day or as long as you like each day.

How can I participate in the 2012 Great Backyard Bird Count? It’s easy to become part of the 2012 GBBC! Count birds in your area for at least 15 minutes or longer if you want. You can count birds one, two, three or all four of the days. Count the number of each species that you see together at one time. There is a regional checklist that you can print out to help you keep track of the birds and numbers. Then enter the highest number of the individual species that you have counted at one time for that day. Find the information at: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/whycount.html. That is how simple it is to be part of the 2012 Great Backyard Bird Count. It is so much fun to count birds and is so helpful to the organizations involved.

Why count birds? The Great Backyard Bird Count gives scientists and bird enthusiasts a real-time picture of the birds across the continent. The count allows the researchers to have this important information in a short period of time. It would take scientists and research teams months and years to collect this much valuable information that will be presented in these 4 days. The data gathered will show scientists things like: how winter influences the population of birds, different migration patterns compared to previous years, if different regions are affected by bird diseases, the variety of birds that live in the different areas (rural, suburban and natural habitats) and many other factors.

The Great Backyard Bird Count website will be tallying the birds as they are reported, comparing them with last year’s statistics and have a photo gallery for new pictures that people can send in. The 2012 GBBC will be a fun event, give the scientists the much needed statistics and the great thing is that everyone can be a part of it. Have a Great Backyard Bird Count for 2012!

Feb 172011

Bird watchers everywhere are gearing up for the Great Backyard Bird Count 2011.
This weekend, February 18-21, 2011, bird enthusiasts will be out counting birds in their different areas. They will be looking for some 600 species for the yearly Great Backyard Bird Count. Bird watchers from the United States and Canada will be participating in the bird count. The purpose of the count is to get an immediate idea of the birdlife throughout the two nations.

It’s very easy for everyone and anyone to join in with the backyard bird count. The rules are simple! Visit The Great Backyard Bird Count for instructions and to download a helpful checklist of birds that are likely to be seen in your area. Spend 15 minutes, any of the four days (February 18-21), counting the largest number of each species in your backyard at one time. Then go to BirdCount.org and enter your findings. The 2011 Great Backyard Bird Count is organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon and Bird Studies Canada. Last year they recorded over 10 million observations and are hoping to have many more this year.

The agencies involved use the data collected to identify changes in birds’ locations and birds’
numbers from year to year. This valuable information collected from the many folks that take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count is huge in signaling early problems in the bird population.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a fun activity and at the same time produces much needed data for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. So, grab your bird watching binoculars, checklist and pencil and have a great day participating in the 2011 Great Backyard Bird Count this year.

Leave a comment and let us know what birds and how many birds you saw in your area.