The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a fun event for bird watchers of all ages and abilities, from beginners to experts. The GBBC will be held Friday, February 17, through Monday, February 20, 2023. To help, you will need to count the birds you see or hear for at least 15 minutes (or longer if you wish) for one or more days of the four-day event. You can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world. For more information visit the GBBC website.
Photo at top: Northern cardinal. Photo by John Mack. Photo courtesy of the NYS DEC.
North Americans share an amazing diversity of birds. More than 1,000 species can be found in the United States alone. They come in an astonishing variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and behaviors. You could live a lifetime and never see every variety of bird that it’s possible to see in our state, or even in your neighborhood.
For a serious birder, spotting a rare bird is tremendously exciting, but for everyone else, seeing a quick flash of red, yellow, or orange on the trail can be just as exhilarating. And watching birds at home has been proven to reduce stress.
It was minus sixteen this morning (Monday, February 14). I was feeding the birds just after sunrise and the trees were popping and snapping as the water that collected in their cracks was expanding very loudly. Last night the deer didn’t come through to clean up the fallen seeds from the feeders, so the blue jays took advantage of the opportunity. They were working on those and carrying them off to a safe place for hiding. Yesterday I banded my 50th blue jay since the first of December. They keep coming in from some place and the others move south. The highest count I can get at any one time at the feeders is sixteen, but I know there are many more than that if they all came together.
I mentioned before how the jays fill their beaks with seeds and fly off with them to store somewhere, just in case I don’t feed them anymore. Their beaks are full of sunflower seeds or corn when I catch them in the potter traps. They are so full, in fact, that you can see it while I have them in hand and they can’t chirp (or bite) while their beaks are full. Most times, I can see the seeds and they let me band them, and measure a wing. They also usually let me check for age by looking for bars on the outside feathers of the wing before they go out the window to freedom. And they are still holding those seeds when they are released by the way. Blue jays are one of the most placid birds in hand while banding them. Very often they just lay still and watch what you are doing with their big black eyes. However, their feet are active and grab on to anything that touches them, like your fingers, a pencil, or the banding pliers…and they have a fairly good grip.
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a fun event for bird watchers of all ages and abilities, from beginners to experts. The 24th annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 12, through Monday, February 15, 2021. Participants are needed! To help, you will need to count birds for at least 15 minutes (or longer if you wish) for one or more days of the four-day event. You can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.
If you’re curious about how to participate, Union College’s Kelly Adirondack Center is hosting a Zoom conversation at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6. Featuring John Loz, President of Southern Adirondack Audubon and Chair of the Board of Audubon New York Chapters. John will discuss this year’s boon of irruptive finches and talk about all the other birds people are seeing. He’ll also share how to contribute to this year’s Great Backyard Bird Count and how to view other birders’ entries. Space at this event is limited to facilitate conversation so please register by emailing Margie Amodeo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing and how to protect them. Last year, almost 270,000 people participated in the GBBC. Let’s top that number this year! For more information or to submit checklists visit the GBBC website.
These various citizen science projects all have the same thing in common, asking the general public to provide critical data for future conservation efforts. Some projects require a bit of training while other programs just require being consistent. No matter the project, my family is always willing to learn more about conservation and animals that are indicators of environmental health. » Continue Reading.
The 20th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is taking place February 17 to 20 in backyards, parks, nature centers, on hiking trails, school grounds, balconies, and beaches — anywhere you find birds.
Bird watchers count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at birdcount.org. All the data contribute to a snapshot of bird distribution and help scientists see changes over the past 20 years.
Varying weather conditions so far this winter are producing a few trends that GBBC participants can watch for during the count. eBird reports show many more waterfowl and kingfishers remaining further north than usual because they are finding open water. If that changes, these birds could move southward. » Continue Reading.
With Niño having warmed Pacific waters to temperatures matching the highest ever recorded, participants in the 2016 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) may be in for a few surprises.
The 19th annual Bird Count is taking place worldwide February 12 through 15. Information gathered and reported online at birdcount.org will help scientists track changes in bird distribution, some of which may be traced to El Niño storms and the unusual weather patterns the Adirondacks have been seeing lately.
“The most recent big El Niño took place during the winter of 1997-98,” according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird program which collects worldwide bird counts year-round and also provides the backbone for the GBBC. “The GBBC was launched in February 1998 and was pretty small at first. This will be the first time we’ll have tens of thousands of people doing the count during a whopper El Niño.” » Continue Reading.
Participants from more than 100 countries submitted a record 147, 265,000 bird checklists for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count in February 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 marked the 18th year for the event which is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada. » Continue Reading.
The annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a chance to be part of an international team of citizen scientists using specific scientific protocols and the power of the internet to provide data to professional environment and wildlife researchers and the scientific and educational institutions they represent.
From February 13–16, people of all ages, whether beginners or experts, are invited to support bird conservation by counting the number of birds, separated by species, seen during any outing or observational sitting. The information gathered will help researchers track changes in bird populations on a massive scale. » Continue Reading.
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