Many years Mr. Charmer and I have participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count!
Counted: Northern Cardinal, Michele Black, OH
Have you heard of it before?
The Great Backyard Bird Count is celebrating it’s 16th year and is taking place from Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18! It is an annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. 2013 count is the first year it is WORLDWIDE!
Everyone is welcome–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.
Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. They enter these numbers on the GBBC website.
Counted: Snowy Owl, Jen Howard, ON
Why count birds?
It helps scientists and bird enthusiasts know where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic and constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document and understand the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.
Scientists use the GBBC information, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to our bird populations. The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions, like these:
Counted: Brown-headed Nuthatch, Marlene
Koslowsky, GA, 2012 GBBC
Bird Counting Can Help Answer These Questions?
• How will the weather influence bird populations?
• Where are winter finches and other “irruptive” species that appear in large numbers during some years but not others?
• How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?
• How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?
• What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?
It’s a great way to spend time admiring our beautiful birds while helping them out!
Last Year 17,382,831 birds were counted – be a part of this great bird event!