Which birds are spending their winter with you this year? How often have you stood at the kitchen window being entertained by the birds feeding in your garden? If you are an experienced bird watcher or simply someone who appreciates the birds in your own backyard, plan to participate in the 14th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), February 18-21, 2011 (President’s Day Weekend) across the United States and Canada.
Tens of thousands of people will be outside or gazing through their windows, counting birds on this long weekend. You can be one of them. Take part in this free project to see how your local birds fit into the landscape of North America. People of all ages and levels of experience and skill take part. Whether you count five species at your backyard feeder, or the many species you see during a visit to your neighborhood park, it’s important that you report what you see to the GBBC website BirdCount.org. Your list, however short or long, helps us all understand more about birds across the continent, as indicators of the state of the world around us. As you enter your results, you’ll see how a group of tens of thousands of birdwatchers can paint a picture of our birds in winter. This is a fun, easy activity that helps with bird conservation. Become a part of the largest Citizen Scientist Project in
North America. Often we fail to notice how rich our surroundings are, but counting for just 15 minutes, is not only educational,– it can provide a lasting source of enjoyment, turning a daily walk into a treasure hunt. Last year, participants submitted more than 97,000 checklists (a 4 percent increase over 2009) and reported 11.2 million birds and 602 different species. Patterns detected in the GBBC data are used to alert scientists to particular species or questions that may require additional detailed follow up studies. Be sure to have your field guide and binoculars ready to help with your count.
If you like birds and want to count them, the GBBC is open to all ages and there is no need to pre-register. Spend as little or as much time as you like (four days) as your schedule allows. Just go to BirdCount.org to learn how to take part.
Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop is very excited to be a major sponsor of the GBBC and to bring this opportunity to the residents of the Kansas City metro area. They invite area individuals, families, schools and community groups to participate. If you have any questions, please stop by one of their stores or give them a call. Their Certified Birdfeeding Specialists will be glad to answer your questions. LsL
Doc & Diane Gover own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shops, 11711 Roe Avenue, 913.491.4887 and 7347 Quivira Road, 913.962.0077.