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For the Birds: The Great Backyard Bird Count and You

Jim Tate reports on the Great Backyard Bird Count, a Citizen Science opportunity to create a real-time, world-wide snapshot of bird populations.
22
Jan

For the Birds: The Great Backyard Bird Count and You, February 14 through 17

At the Dinner Meeting just after the Christmas Bird Count, I heard one of our members comment about our guests from the Montgomery Bird Club. “It must take a lot of study to learn all of those details about the wild birds!” she said.

Wrong! I have watched complete strangers to bird watching dip their toe into the waters when they notice something they haven’t seen before. What it takes to get involved is nothing more that opening the senses to the natural world and learning from it. This is a trait any successful hunter or fisher learned early, and practices often.

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an opportunity for everyone to learn about birds, is free, easy, and fun. Designed as a Citizen Science opportunity to create a real-time, world-wide snapshot of bird populations. Participants count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online here.

Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and they can participate from their own backyard, or anywhere else in the world.

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers learn more about birds and the environment we share with them. Last year, more than 214,000 participants submitted observations of nearly 6,000 species worldwide, and created the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.

The GBBC is a world-wide Citizen Science project. The top ten reporting countries are: United States, Canada, India, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica, Portugal, Taiwan, United Kingdom.

In addition to submitting your checklists, you can also compete in the GBBC Photo Contest. Even if you don’t submit a photo to the contest, you can see images from past contests in the GBBC Photo Contest Gallery.

The 23rd annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 14, through Monday, February 17, 2020.

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