Citizen Scientists are Needed for the Great Backyard Bird Count
The Great Backyard Bird Count is February 15 to 18. Participants watch birds at feeders or any place where they are for at least 15 to 30 minutes on one, two or all four days, at a single or multiple locations. Data will be used by scientists to analyze bird populations, so it is very important that everyone count their birds in exactly the same way. How to count? For each species of bird seen, keep track of the highest number of individuals observed at any one time. For example, during a 60-minute watch, three chickadees are seen at 8:05, two at 8:15, three at 8:40, and eight at 8:50; eight chickadees would be reported, not 16. Record the time spent watching. If birds are counted at a feeder throughout the day, estimate the time actually spent watching, perhaps an hour total, and be sure to tally the highest number of a species seen at one time during that period.
Your observations should then be submitted to gbbc.birdcount.org, or go directly to ebird. Fill out the questions about your location, habitat and count duration, and enter your high counts for each species sighted on that day at that location. You can submit one bird checklist for each day that you count, and/or for each new area that you count in. You can start entering bird lists at midnight local time on the first day of the count from anywhere in the world. If you need help understanding how to count or enter your data, you can contact Ruth Stewart at [email protected]