Thursday, February 11, 2010

Counting Crows . . . and Jays and Chickadees [Fun & Games]

The annual Great Backyard Bird Count is on, let the games begin! Every day there are thousands of people watching birds across North America. Over the next four days (Friday, February 12th through 15th) there will be thousands of people watching and counting birds across North America, some for the first time, all to create a snapshot of where the birds are spending their winter. It's simple: observe birds; track a few necessary details (like when, where, and who); and upload your list on the easy-to-use web site.

Well, check out this video, it's worth a thousand-word blog post all on its own. You'll learn the whats, wherefores, and how tos. But also explore the web site to learn about birds, to see how your submissions are used by scientists, to see photos from past counts, and especially to get ideas on how to involve beginning birders and kids - from past experience I can tell you, it's great for kids!

The GBBC is a great excuse, if you need one,
to get your kids involved with nature.

Granted, watching birds is the best part. But it's a real trip to watch the map as it regularly updates throughout the weekend in near-real time with the most recent submissions, to track how many checklists come in from your town, and to see what birds are being seen where.

So, if nothing else, try and get out and collect a few checklists. Even better, attend a bird walk or workshop at a local nature center, or just get a few others out with you and introduce them to nature and citizen science. I'll be covering where I can in my county, will you do the same?



nishiki_85 said...

I'll be out this weekend. With "Family Day" (a provincial holiday since 2008) adding an extra day to count, I should be able to submit a few more checklists than I have in the past. Losing Christmas Eve Day for Family Day doesn't seem as bad this year. :)

noflickster said...

Hi Nishiki - hope you had a great count weekend! I look forward to your summary.

I didn't get out as much as I hoped, but still managed a couple of checklists each day from various local spots. I'm hoping to find time to tally up the lists and compare them with last year's submissions (I have them saved).

Enjoy Family Day!

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