Friday, February 17, 2012

the great backyard bird count

I really am enjoying blogging right now, and I hope you are enjoying reading!  You may have seen my Garden Blogger's Bloom Day post on the 15th, and maybe you clicked on the link to May Dreams Garden to see what was blooming around the world.  I spent some time checking out some of the links, and found a few new blogs to follow.  One of them was Julie at Growing Days.  This morning as I was checking my blog feed I saw her post about this weekend's 15th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count.

Pine Grosbeak, Norm Dougan, BC
  2011 GBBC
The great thing about this event is that you don't have to be a bird expert.  They have printable tally sheets for your zip code so you know exactly what species you're looking for, cheat sheets to help you actually identify the birds, and you can submit your results online.  There are also audubon apps available to help you identify birds :) They've done a lot of prep work to make this easy, I am planning on participating, and I hope you do too (especially those of you west of the Mississippi, you are very under represented)

So what is the GBBC? 

The 2012 GBBC will take place Friday, February 17, through Monday, February 20.
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 across the continent. Anyone can participate, 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. - Source
I'm excited because this snapshot gives scientists information about migratory shifts, populations, and clues about ecosystems and other small and large scale environmental programs.  I love science, and I love nature. This is easy and it speaks to me.

Red-breasted Nuthatch by Norm Dougan, BC

Julie has a great explanation of how the Great Backyard Bird Count works - complete with a list of links and resources - so I'm going to share that and hope you can spare 15 minutes this weekend...for science :)
  1. Count birds in your area for at least 15 minutes on one or more days over the weekend. Submit a separate checklist for each day you participate. Checklists can be found here.
  2. Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see at any one time. You can find a checklist of birds common to your area by entering your zip code here.
  3. Finally, enter your results here.
AND there are giveaways. : )


  1. "Bird Nerds" are awesome. My wife is one. I might have to do this bird count event.

    1. I just printed the sheet for Hamilton County.It's divided into categories of birds, and online you can click each species for more info. It's a very well put together database :) I'm not a "Bird Nerd" but I'd like to learn more about what's in my yard.

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  3. Thanks for sharing the Great Backyard Bird Count with your readers! I'm excited to do this with my family this weekend. Hope you have a lovely weekend and spot lots of feathered friends! Cheers!
    ~ Julie

    1. You're welcome Julie, I'm glad you posted about it!!

  4. I may do this - I saw about a million crows the other day! And I've seen a lot of blackbirds lately. Nothing exotic, but I guess it all counts! My granddaughter is visiting Sunday. It would be a fun thing for us to do together. Thanks for the information!

    1. It does all count! I hope you had a lovely weekend :)


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