Got your binoculars ready? We need YOU to participate in the 18th annual Great Backyard Bird Count which takes place from February 12-15, 2016.
By joining this innovative and large-scale citizen science program, you can contribute bird location data to scientists hoping to take a snapshot of North American birds in winter. Much like the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) and Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS), data from the Great Backyard Bird Count help us track where species are during the winter, enabling comparisons between years and helping inform conservation efforts world-wide.
Unlike other counts, the Great Backyard Bird Count lets you pick any site you want! All you need do is register your location by following the link below, then count birds at that location for at least 15 minutes on one or more of the four days (Feb 12-15). The key is to count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like. Submit a separate checklist for each new day, for each new location, or for the same location if you count at different times of day.
Last year, participants from more than 100 countries submitted a record 147,265 bird checklists for the Backyard Bird Count and broke the previous count record for the number of species identified. The 5,090 species reported represents nearly half the possible bird species in the world. The four-day count is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada. The information gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers helps track the health of bird populations at a scale made possible by using the eBird online checklist program.
Just 25 Montana locations were represented in last year’s data; let’s see if we can change that this season!