Now is the time for all good bird-watchers to come to the aid of their country...
Today begins the Great Backyard Bird Count. The GBBC is a yearly event in which folks count birds and tally them and then submit their checklists. The checklists pile up into a lot of useful data for scientists to study. With the cooperation of all the citizen-scientists/minions/bird counters they can find out what's up with birds all over the country without having to do all the work of observation themselves, which would be awfully complicated. F'r instance, they can find out if there is a shocking lack of something, or an unusual abundance, or a change in migration patterns, or whatever.
The GBBC lasts four days, this year Feb. 17-20. For however many of these days you want, you count the birds you see in your yard (or in your woods, or in your wildlife refuge, or in your Surrounding Countryside), and write down the highest number of the same species that you see at once. For Ex: If you see a dozen Juncos at once in the morning and six more in the afternoon, you only write down the dozen, that being the most you saw simultaneously. This is Scientific.
For every day you count and every different location you count in, you can submit a new checklist. The more the merrier. Now go, count ye the birds upon thy trees and upon thy feeders, and in the skies above and aid ye the ornithologists of the nation and thus their objects of study.
And don't forget to submit the checklists. For the past two years, I didn't try to submit mine until it was Too Late. Pathetic.
Now go! The birds around here at least are cooperating- a pair of the long-absent bluebirds even showed up and have been wing-waving and talking and CHECKING OUT THE BOXES!!!