Around the third week in February, backyard birding fanatics from novice to seasoned professional, and young to old, will join forces with Audubon and Cornell Lab’s Great Backyard Bird Count. You can participate in this critical citizen science project in just five easy steps (from Zach Slavin in Cornell’s Education & Nature Centers program. Their most helpful hint: “you can even participate in your pajamas“.
Check out Cornell Lab’s Instructional Video (at the end of page) or the easy list below.
1. Make a plan: You’ll need to count birds for a minimum of 15 minutes on one of the count days, but you can count all four days, and you can count for as long as you want. More counting = more data to show us where the birds are.
2. Know your place: Decide whether your count is a STATIONARY COUNT, like watching a feeder out the window, or a TRAVELING COUNT, such as birding during a hike. Print out a data form so that you’ll know what information to record, and a regional bird checklist to help with identification.
3. Count: Record the highest number of each species seen together at one time in stationary counts. For traveling counts, record the total number of individual birds of each species you see during the walk. For more info, visit http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/howto.html.
4. Report: Enter your findings through the website by clicking on “Enter Your Checklists!” and following instructions.
5. Spread the word: Tell others about your experience. Find out how to be a GBBC ambassador by clicking “Get Involved” on the website. Also, join the GBBC Facebook group, and tweet about the count (use #GBBC when tweeting).
Ready to start? Go to www.birdsource.org/gbbc/ for everything you need.