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Whether you started birding since the pandemic began last year or have been part of the birding scene for decades, you’ll want to attend this weekend’s 24th Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).
People around the world will count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes over one or more counting days, then enter their checklists online.
The count takes place from February 12 to 15. Visit the new web site.
“The GBBC is a simple and welcoming project that both new and experienced birders enjoy,” says David Bonter, co-director of the Center for Engagement in Science and Nature at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Birds are everywhere and can be counted in backyards, neighborhoods, suburban parks, wilderness areas and cities. Scientists need the eyes of the world to collect information about the whereabouts of birds.
During GBBC 2020, birdwatchers set new records for the event, producing nearly 250,000 sightings of birds, from more than 100 countries, identifying nearly 7,000 of the estimated 10,000 bird species. in the world. Data collected by the GBBC and other survey projects highlights changes in the numbers and distribution of wild birds over time.
Birds make us happy
“By participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count, community scientists are providing data that we use to protect the birds and places they need, today and tomorrow,” said Chad Wilsey, chief scientist at the National Audubon Society. “In turn, studies tell us that stopping to observe birds, their sounds and their movements, improves human health. Participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count is a win-win situation for birds and people.
This year, there’s a new way to submit a sighting through Cornell Lab’s free Merlin Bird ID app. If you use the app during the GBBC and register a bird that you have identified, it is also counted for the GBBC. As in the past, using the eBird platform on your mobile app and desktop is still a great way to capture your data. Visit the How to Enter page to learn more about entering your bird sightings.
“Why not try something new? said Steven Price, President of Birds Canada. “If you are an experienced birder, challenge yourself to see how many new birders you can get interested in relying on their own patch. If you’re just starting to learn about the birds in your garden, see if you can identify three new birds (or five new birds or 10 new birds!). Check out the resources on The Roost for more suggestions.
All participants are advised to bird watch safely in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. That means following your area’s health and safety protocols, not congregating in large groups, and wearing masks if you can’t stay at least six feet apart. To learn more about how to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, visit birdcount.org.
Thanks to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for providing this news.