This coming weekend -February 13-16, 2015 is the Great Back Yard Bird Count. This is the weekend that birders of all skill levels go out to the neighborhood parks and backyards and count every bird they see.  These sightings are then entered into online databases for future research and conservation efforts.

This event was launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.

Since 1998, now more than 100,000 people of all ages and walks of life have joined the four-day count each February to create a yearly picture of the distribution and abundance of birds.

The GBBC invites you to participate! Simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 13-16, 2015. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world!

 

According to the Great Backyard Bird Count webpage, in 2014 there were participants in 135 countries that counted nearly 4,300 species of birds on more than 144,000 checklists. Furthermore, during the count, the GBBC allows you to explore what others are seeing in your area or around the world. They also encourage you to share your bird photos by entering the photo contest, or enjoy images pouring in from across the globe.

Why do we need to count birds you ask? Well, scientists and bird buffs can gain a lot of knowledge by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are vibrant; they are constantly in fluctuation. 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 information from the Great Backyard Bird Count, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations.

If you are interested in participating please visit:

http://gbbc.birdcount.org/