Saturday, February 08, 2014

Great Backyard Bird Count: February 14-17

Every year, just before President's Day weekend, I make a long run to the nice wild bird store in town to stock up on birdseed and suet for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. This global citizen science event sponsored by Cornell Ornithology Lab takes place every winter and is made stronger by the number of participants and checklists submitted. But counting birds for the event isn't restricted to your yard, but you can submit checklists from natural areas, parks, and anywhere else birds visit.

The requirements are simple: count the birds you see for the duration of at least 15 minutes at a time. Of course, you can spend the day birding, or a few hours, or even several smaller increments throughout the holiday weekend. The really fun part of the event is exploring the data to find out what areas near you have been surveyed, what other parts of the world are seeing, and so forth. Visit the Great Backyard Bird Count website at http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ for more details, registration, and data entry.

If you live in the Columbia area, the local Audubon chapter will be hosting a Feeder Crawl, a chance to visit members' yards to watch the birds that come to their feeders:

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 GBBC Backyard Bird Feeder Crawl Departure Point: Songbird Station. 2010 Chapel Plaza Ct #C, Columbia, MO The 2014 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place Friday, February 14, through Monday, February 17. The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day citizen science event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. You’ve heard of a Pub Crawl? Well, to help celebrate the 2014 GBBC, CAS is having a Backyard Bird Feeder Crawl! We’ll carpool to various backyard bird feeders in and around the Columbia area. At each backyard feeder we’ll count birds for 15 minutes or more, submit our checklist to eBird and then “crawl” to the next location. Meet at Songbird Station’s parking lot at 8 a.m. The trip will be 3-4 hours long and will return to Songbird Station for coffee and donuts.

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