Monday, February 14, 2011

The Great Backyard Bird Count is Almost Here!


This weekend, our family will be participating in the 14th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). As you may remember, we are already participating in Cornell's Project FeederWatch, and this is very similar. If you were interested in the FeederWatch program, but didn't want to commit the time, then this project may be more your style. It only runs from February 18th through February 21st.

The four-day count occurs in February each year and typically records more than 10 million observations! People of any age can participate by tallying birds for at least 15 minutes on any day of the count. Then all you have to do is click on over to www.birdcount.org, where you can enter the highest number of each species seen at any one time and watch as the tallies grow across the continent.

And contrary to its name, you don't have to do it in your backyard. You can visit your local park, or any type of wilderness area, and complete your count there.

This citizen science program is a valuable tool for aviculturists studying bird populations across the continent.  Previous data collected from the GBBC has shown delines in some bird species that coincide with the widespread outbreaks of West Nile virus.

The GBBC's website is a wealth of information and includes games and activities for kids like puzzles, coloring pages and bookmarks. You can also learn more about birds, flip though their photo gallery, and even see last year's bird count results.

Con mucho cariño...

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