Sunday, February 17, 2013

Everybody Counts

Hello, there! It's that time of year again - time for the Great Backyard Bird Count. This is a citizen science effort to count birds around the world, kind of like the Christmas BC. This is the 16th year that this count is being conducted. It started on Thursday and will continue through Monday. Basically, you can go birding for 15 minutes or more, count every single bird you see, and then turn in those numbers to the GBBC website. Already, 48,921 checklists have been submitted. You could be a part of this! The instructions for submitting a checklist are here. You do have to make an account or sign in with your eBird account, but this is a perfectly safe website.

What I like about the GBBC is that it's really casual. You could go birding at a wildlife refuge, or you could just walk around your block. You could go with a group, or by yourself. It's all up to you. If you want, you can even take your camera and turn in a picture to the Photo Contest! This count is a fun way to both go birding and help scientists. Ornithologists use the numbers that we turn in to study the impact of West Nile Virus, irruptions of bird populations, and all kinds of cool stuff. I highly encourage you to participate!

I just did my count this morning. I walked to a nearby park and hung out there for a couple of hours. I'm actually kind of surprised by how many birds I found! I wanted to show you guys what birds you might find during your own effort, so I threw together a little video. It looks best if you go full-screen and 720p. :)

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