Join the Great Backyard Bird Count from February 12 to 15
Lots of people turned to birdwatching during the past year, seeking enjoyment and relaxation. Chickadees, cardinals, finches and other birds are doing their part to lift human spirits. The 24th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a great opportunity for all budding birdwatchers and bird-count veterans to use their skills. People from around the world count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, and then enter their checklists online. The GBBC takes place Feb. 12 through 15.
“The GBBC is a simple, welcoming project that both new and veteran birdwatchers enjoy,” says David Bonter, Co-Director of the Center for Engagement in Science and Nature at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Birds are everywhere and can be counted in backyards, neighborhoods, suburban parks, wild areas and cities. Scientists need the eyes of the world to collect information about where the birds are.”
During the 2020 GBBC, birdwatchers set records for the event, turning in nearly 250,000 lists of birds seen, from more than 100 countries, identifying nearly 7,000 of the world’s estimated 10,000 bird species. Data gathered by the GBBC and other survey projects highlight changes in the numbers and distribution of wild birds over time.
“By participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count, community scientists contribute data that we use to protect birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow,” said Chad Wilsey, Ph.D., chief scientist at National Audubon Society. “In return, studies tell us that pausing to observe birds, their sounds and movements, improve human health. Participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count is a win-win for birds and people.”
This year there is a new way to send in an observation—through the Cornell Lab’s free Merlin Bird ID app. If you use the app during the GBBC and save a bird you’ve identified, it is also counted for the GBBC. As in the past, using the eBird platform on your mobile app and computer are still great ways to enter your data. Visit the How to Participate page to learn more about entering your bird sightings.
From InMenlo Updates; used with permission
Photos by Rick Morris taken in his Menlo Park backyard (c) 2021; top photo is Female Western Tanager; second photo is American Robin; bottom photo is Tufted Titmouse