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!