Your opportunity to help expand scientific knowledge
For birders, its not uncommon to sit and watch birds in your yard coming to feeders. Most birders have several types of feeders in their yard as well as plants specifically for attracting birds. Each February for one weekend, all birders are encouraged to count the birds they see and submit the information to Cornell Laboratories. This is the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). The GBBC is a collaborative effort between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society.
While sitting and watching birds in your yard may not seem important, this activity can add greatly to biologists understanding of bird populations and movements. The GBBC was started by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in 1998 as the first online citizen science project to collect information on wild birds. Another well known citizen science project is the Christmas Bird Count, which occurs every year around Christmas time for three weeks. These citizen science projects have been going on for many years and the data that they provide has helped biologists expand their knowledge of avian biology.
This year’s Backyard Bird Count is currently underway, it runs from February 15-18, 2019. There is still time for you to participate. All you have to do is, look out in your yard and identify and count the birds you see. This is not only a great way to connect with nature and relax, it also gives you the satisfaction of knowing you helped biologists better understand avian species. For more information, or to submit your list, you can go to the GBBC website.
You don’t have to spend all four days counting birds, a simple 15 minute count is all that is required to be valid. Of course, once you start, its hard to stop!