Saturday, December 12, 2009

Counting Birds

The Beidler Forest Christmas Bird Count will be held on Monday. Hopefully, the approaching rain will have moved out by then. The Christmas Bird Count is limited to a circle with a 15-mile diameter. However, a bigger bird count coming in February that can be conducted anywhere by anyone no matter the bird identification skill level!

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will be conducted from February 12th to the 15th. From the GBBC site, "The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent and in Hawaii. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.

Why Count Birds?

Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.

We need your help. Make sure the birds from your community are well represented in the count. It doesn't matter whether you report the 5 species coming to your backyard feeder or the 75 species you see during a day's outing to a wildlife refuge."

Not only is this something in which students can participate at school, but the GBBC is a tremendous outdoor activity in which the entire family can participate! It is easy to submit the tallies for the birds you could identify. Afterwards, you can see how your region of the state fared, zoom out to see reports across most of North America or see maps for individual species!

Make your plans now so that you are not left out!

Image by Mark Musselman

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