Participants Wanted for the Great Backyard Bird Count
The 21st Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is February 16 to 19. This annual four-day event engages bird watchers in over 150 countries to count birds. Participants watch for birds for at least 15 to 30 minutes per day at feeders or a nearby habitat, and submit a separate checklist for each day at each location. Data is used to analyze bird populations, so it is very important that everyone count birds in exactly the same way. For each kind of bird seen, keep track of the highest number of individuals observed at any one time. For example, during a 30-minute watch, three chickadees are seen at 8:05 and two at 8:15, eight at 8:18, and six in one view at 8:30. The maximum to be reported would be eight chickadees – not the total of 19. Do not keep adding chickadees for the entire watch period as they come and go quite quickly. In addition to counting species, record the time spent watching and any other relevant information, such as temperature and weather conditions. If birds are counted at a feeder throughout the day, estimate the time actually spent watching, perhaps one hour total. It is still important to tally the highest number of each species seen at one time during the observation period.
To submit your observations, go online to the gbbc.birdcount.org; the site will direct you to ebird.org, an international, real-time database that collects bird observations. eBird is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in the world. Fill out the questions about the location, local habitat and count duration, then enter the high counts for each species sighted on that day and location. You can submit one bird checklist for each day that you count and/or for each new area that you count in that day.
The 2017 GBBC was the biggest in its 20-year history! Checklists submitted totaled over 181,000 checklist were submitted worldwide, observing 6259 species, for a total of 29,610,045 birds counted. For more info about the Great Backyard Bird Count, visit the website or for help entering a count report contact Ruth Stewart at 802-362-1185.