Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Great Backyard Bird Count

Remember the Great Backyard Bird Count from last February? We did it then and it's time to start thinking about counting those birds once again. The press release is out! Get your very own 2009 Great Backyard Bird Count Form here. Provide your zipcode and get a printable tally sheet specific to your neighborhood here.

2009 GBBC News Release
Count for Fun, Count for the Future


New York, NY and Ithaca, NY—Bird and nature fans throughout North America are invited to join tens of thousands of everyday bird watchers for the 12th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), February 13-16, 2009.
A joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, this free event is an opportunity for families, students, and people of all ages to discover the wonders of nature in backyards, schoolyards, and local parks, and, at the same time, make an important contribution to conservation. Participants count birds and report their sightings online at http://www.birdcount.org./
“The Great Backyard Bird Count benefits both birds and people. It’s a great example of citizen science: Anyone who can identify even a few species can contribute to the body of knowledge that is used to inform conservation efforts to protect birds and biodiversity,” said Audubon Education VP, Judy Braus. “Families, teachers, children and all those who take part in GBBC get a chance to improve their observation skills, enjoy nature, and have a great time counting for fun, counting for the future.”
Anyone can take part, from novice bird watchers to experts, by counting birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the event and reporting their sightings online at http://www.birdcount.org./. Participants can also explore what birds others are finding in their backyards—whether in their own neighborhood or thousands of miles away. Additional online resources include tips to help identify birds, a photo gallery, and special materials for educators.
The data these “citizen scientists” collect helps researchers understand bird population trends, information that is critical for effective conservation. Their efforts enable everyone to see what would otherwise be impossible: a comprehensive picture of where birds are in late winter and how their numbers and distribution compare with previous years. In 2008, participants submitted more than 85,000 checklists.
“The GBBC has become a vital link in the arsenal of continent-wide bird-monitoring projects,” said Cornell Lab of Ornithology director, John Fitzpatrick. “With more than a decade of data now in hand, the GBBC has documented the fine-grained details of late-winter bird distributions better than any project in history, including some truly striking changes just over the past decade.”
Each year, in addition to entering their tallies, participants submit thousands of digital images for the GBBC photo contest. Many are featured in the popular online gallery. Participants in the 2009 count are also invited to upload their bird videos to YouTube; some will also be featured on the GBBC web site. Visit http://www.birdcount.org./ to learn more.
Businesses, schools, nature clubs, Scout troops, and other community organizations interested in the GBBC can contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at 800-843-2473 (outside the U.S., call 607-254-2473), or Audubon at citizenscience@audubon.org, or 215-355-9588, Ext 16.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is made possible, in part, by support from Wild Birds Unlimited.
Keep on Counting!
If the Great Backyard Bird Count has ignited your passion for watching and counting birds, it doesn't have to end on February 18! Tally your birds and report what you see all winter long through Project FeederWatch.
  • FeederWatchers are people of all skill levels and backgrounds, including children and families.
  • FeederWatchers count the highest numbers of each species seen at their feeders over two consecutive days from November through early April. (You can join at any time!)
  • FeederWatchers report their bird counts to scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada, on the web site or on paper data forms.
  • New FeederWatchers receive a kit that includes an identification poster, calendar, handbook, and complete instructions. A small annual fee supports the project and pays for materials.
  • FeederWatchers learn more about winter birds and contribute to the study and conservation of North American feeder birds.


Learn more about Project FeederWatch

Sign up now!

Project FeederWatch is a joint research and education project of Cornell Lab of Orinthology and Bird Studies Canada.

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