You don’t need to be a scientist to do real science.
You just need a pencil, a scratch pad, and 15 minutes sometime between Feb.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon are once again sponsoring the
Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), now in its 11th year, and are looking for
birders across North America to take a real-time snapshot of where the birds
The theme for this year’s edition of the GBBC: Count for fun, count for the
Anyone can count birds wherever they are during the GBBC and enter their
tallies on line at www.birdcount.org. No fees to pay, no need to register.
Just count and report.
Data collected during the GBBC contribute valuable information both for
science and for conservation, spotlighting changes in bird populations and
distributions from year to year. Previous Great Backyard Bird Counts have
shown, for instance, how species like the Eurasian Collared Dove and the
Red-bellied Woodpecker are spreading into new areas, as swell as how species
like the American Crow and the Northern Pintail are in decline.
Participating in the GBBC is easy, and you don’t even need to know a great
deal about birds as helpful identification tips can be found at
www.birdcount.org. Participants simply watch birds for as few as 15 minutes
on one or more days of the event, counting in their own backyards, in city
parks, in nature centers, or wherever they like. Then enter the highest
number of each species seen at one time on the GBBC website.
While they’re at the website, participants can explore maps and charts
showing what others are reporting in their area or across the country. They
can also see winning photographs from the 2007 photo contest and get inspired
to send their own digital photos to the 2008 GBBC. Every photo submitted is
considered for the contest.
In addition to digital photos, you can also shoot video of birds or birders
during the GBBC. Upload your video to YouTube and tag it “Great Backyard Bird
Count.” Some of the best clips will be posted on the GBBC website.
The GBBC is a free event, sponsored in part by Wild Birds Unlimited. Everyone
who participates will be entered in a drawing to win bird-related prizes. For
more information visit www.birdcount.org
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit membership institution
interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through the
research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.
Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitats
which support them. “Our national network of community-based nature centers
and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of
areas sustaining important bird populations engage millions of people of all
ages and backgrounds in conservation.”