It’s time to count birds for the Greater Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). But, don’t be alarmed if you aren’t set up to stare non-stop at birds, without blinking, while holding a clicker, afraid to go to the bathroom for fear of missing the 100th House Finch. No Worries!
Your task – if you decide to accept it – is to simply count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count February 16 – 19. Simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see on this important weekend. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as you wish!
How does simply counting birds assist conservation?:
The GBBC results provides scientists with an “annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds”:
Scientists use information from the Great Backyard Bird Count, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations. The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions.
In 2017, more than 160,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating “the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.”
The 2017 Summary provided scientists with a very interesting snapshot on: Rarities, Weather Impact, Early Migrations, Following Cranes, and Other Notable Reports. Data gathered from 2017 GBBC submissions showed that “the warm weather during the GBBC continued through the last two weeks of February, and that made it abundantly clear that this unprecedented February warmth in the eastern United States and eastern Canada kicked off early migration that started around GBBC time.”
Team up with an old-timer, a kiddo, or ask a first-time birder out to enjoy the birds. And submit those lists.
Don’t worry if your backyard isn’t chock full of birds. Count anywhere – at anytime – and the scientists will do all the hard, geeky work; while we birders get to have all the fun!
NAAS Conservation Committee
P.S. If you don’t use eBird, go to: BirdCount.org. Look for the “Submit Observations” tab at the top. Then submit away.
If you already use eBird, just submit your sightings via eBird—all birds you submit from GBBC weekend will count for the GBBC.