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Great Backyard Bird Count 2020

The 23rd Annual GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT Takes Place February 14-17.


Blue Jay.  Photograph by VR Schmalhofer.


President's Day weekend approaches, and that means it's time for the Great Backyard Bird Count.  The event kicks off on Valentine's Day!  What better time - and what better way - to show your love of little feathered dinosaurs than to take part in the GBBC?   

For over two decades, citizen scientists have contributed data to this global effort to describe the midwinter (or midsummer in the southern hemisphere) "state of the birds." The data collected provides valuable information about bird populations on local, regional, and global scales.  

Which species are most commonly seen?  Which species are most abundant?  Are populations increasing in size, decreasing, or remaining stable?  Are species showing up in places they haven't previously been observed?  Are ranges changing?  These are just a few of the questions that scientists with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Bird Studies Canada, and Audubon can address using the data collected by the hundreds of thousands of GBBC participants.

Although the event lasts four days, participants do not need to commit to all four.  The GBBC is a relaxed sort of event: count as little or as much as you like (the minimum count time is 15 minutes).  Count in one location, or count at many sites.  No birding experience is necessary to take part.  Cornell Lab's All About Birds provides helpful information and tips for bird identification, and there are many free apps, such as Merlin and Seek, that can help you to answer the age-old birding question: What is that bird?  (Merlin is a bird-specific app, while Seek is for general identification of any/all flora and fauna and fungi.)  Counts are submitted via eBird.

So count birds for 15 minutes or for as many hours as your heart desires - the main thing is to take part and count!


Mourning Dove.  Photograph by VR Schmalhofer.




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