I love birds! I like to chase them sometimes when I need exercise. Mostly I like to lay on the porch in the sunshine and listen to them sing. We have lots of birds at our house because Mom puts feeders out for them and keeps parts of the yard as habitat for them. And every year we participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count!
The 2013 GBBC will take place Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18. It s an annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Mom started participating when she worked for the Girl Scouts. I was just a puppy then so I didn't help much. Now I do my best to rouse the birds in our yard so Mom can get a good look at them and count them all. She says I'm not helping much, but I do what I can!
Everyone is welcome--from beginning bird watchers to experts - even little dogs. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.
Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. They enter these numbers on the GBBC website. You can also send in photographs of the birds you see for the GBBC photo contest.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is very important for helping birds. Scientists use the GBBC information, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations. The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists understand and help birds.
Participating is easy. To learn more about how to join the count, get bird ID tips, plus downloadable instructions, web buttons, and flyers, visit www.BirdCount.org. The count also includes a photo contest and a prize drawing for participants who enter at least one bird checklist online. Portions of the GBBC site are also now available in Spanish at www.ContandoAves.org.