Sunday, February 17, 2013

Great Backyard Bird Count

Isn't this little bird cute?!?  Tufted Titmouse, photo by Laura Perlick of the US Fish & Wildlife Service

Howdy!  It's time for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count!  Actually, it's been time for the GBBC since Friday, but I'm a bit behind in posting.

What is the GBBC, you ask?

Good question.  Here's the answer from the GBBC website.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are.
Beginning in 2013, GBBC checklists will be accepted from anywhere in the world!
Everyone is welcome--from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. 
Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. They enter these numbers on the GBBC website.

 This event can be enjoyable even for folks who aren't good at birding.  Trust me; I'm terrible at bird-watching, or rather, at bird-identifying.  But last year I did the GBBC with my mom at a big park, and we spent half of it sitting on a bench chatting (read: scaring away birds).  It gave us a chance to spend time together with just the two of us, something we don't often have a chance to do, and it gave us a sense of accomplishment, too.  We contributed to science!

So even if you're not much of a birder, but you're vaguely interested in finding out what birds live in your neighborhood, give the GBBC a try.  You don't even have to leave your house to do it!

And if you're in the United States or Canada, and you don't know how to start figuring out what birds you're seeing, GBBC provides a checklist of birds commonly found in your area.

So get and there and go birding!  (or stay inside and bird from your window)