Have you heard of the Great Backyard Bird Count ? Well, it begins today, Feb. 13th and you can do it.
The GBBC is an annual four-day citizen science project in which people all over the place count the birds and submit the data. This has been going on for 17 years already and it is now worldwide. I have read that folks in 135 countries did it last year. Thus scientists can get a huge picture of bird populations all over the globe as Dick, Jane, Baby, Puff, Spot, and the Common Man gather vast quantities of data! Isn't it a terrific idea?
[The old faithful pair of Red-tailed Hawks survey their domain from pole #1922]
Now it is for you to participate this year! The GBBC is done by all kinds of people from old sobersides birders with Swarovski opticks to kids with a bird feeder in Grandmother's backyard. Don't worry if you think you're only a beginner, there is nothing hard about it, and it is truly useful.
Here's how it goes: On one or more of the four days, Feb. 13-16th this year, count the birds you see for at least 15 minutes (noting the time), make a list of number and kind, and then enter your count on the GBBC website. There is even a handy-dandy tool that will give you a checklist of likely birds for your area: printable bird tally sheets. You can have as many counts as you want, wherever you want, with a new list every time. If you can't identify every bird, you can just do the best you can. Go here to read all about it and register: Get Started.
[You may say, there are no birds in winter... well, if you look, you'll find some I daresay. This White-throated Sparrow, f'r instance. They're homesick when they first arrive here for the season. All they can say is , 'Oh, sweet Canada, Canada, Canada'). Don't want to miss it even if it is kind of drab.]
Important Notice: Even if there are really no birds at all, it is just as useful if you look for 15 minutes and submit data on how many birds there aren't.
Timothy Pigeon wants YOU to join the Great Backyard Bird Count.
Please try it?