Thursday, January 17, 2008

Great Backyard Bird Count

Mark your calendars now! It's time once again for the Great Backyard Bird Count (Feb. 15th -18th). Everyone can participate regardless of their birding skills. Not sure that you qualify? Take a quick test..."What bird is pictured to the right?"

Even though the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a common bird around the state, you can help ornithologists and other scientists by counting and recording your sightings. Bird populations are dynamic and it is impossible for any group of scientists to capture a 4-day snapshot for the location of all the birds on our continent. However, this can be accomplished with a citizen/scientist team working within the myriad of communities and habitats in North America. Click here to learn more about why your participation is important.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
1. Plan to count birds for at least 15 minutes during February 15–18, 2008. Count birds at as many places and on as many days as you like—just keep a separate list of counts for each day and/or location.

2. Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see together at any one time, and write it down. (You can get regional bird checklists here.)

3. Enter your results through our web page.

That's it! We'll look forward to receiving your counts. (From the Great Backyard Bird Count webpage)

As you can see from the image of South Carolina's 2007 results, there are plenty of reporting gaps in our state. We encourage everyone to spend AT LEAST 15 minutes during the four-day count to help extend the count coverage across the state. This is a tremendous opportunity for families to enjoy a fun, free and easy activity together!

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