Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Great Backyard Bird Count is Almost Here

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. The annual four-day event engages bird watchers in counting birds. Participants count birds for a little as 15 minutes, or as long as they want during each day of the event. The counts are entered and tallied to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are.

This year hallmarks the 16th annual bird count and the first international snapshot of avian populations. Traditionally checklists were accepted only from North America and Hawaii, but now you can participate from anywhere in the world.

Scientists can learn a lot from knowing where birds are. Bird populations are in constant flux. No single scientist or group of scientists could possibly collect and document the movements and distribution of the almost 1,000 bird species found across North America and Hawaii, let alone the 10,000 species found throughout the world.

Data collected by the GBBC can be viewed by anyone with internet access. Participants can explore data from their home town, state, or the entire continent. They can compare data from the current year with those from past counts. They can view top ten lists of the most numerous birds, the most frequently reported birds, as well as which regions reported the most species.

Check out some of my images from previous Backyard Bird Counts:
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)
Del Rey Lagoon Park
Playa Del Rey, CaliforniaFebruary 19th, 2012

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Huntington Beach, California
February 21st, 2011

American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Huntington Beach, California
February 21st, 2011

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