Thursday, February 17, 2011

Great Backyard Bird Count 2011

The upcoming weekend is Presidents Day weekend, and that means that it is time again for the Great Backyard Bird Count! This count is an attempt to record all of the birds found across the United States and Canada over a four-day period. Doing this requires participation from thousands of observers across the continent. During this weekend, people count and report birds in their backyards, in local parks, in wildlife refuges, at the beach, in the mountains, in cities, on farms, or anywhere else where they happen to encounter birds. Anyone can participate, whether a skilled field birder or someone who just started paying attention to birds. In fact, this count more suited to amateur participation than most bird surveys since it uses simplified protocol and checklists are reviewed promptly by one of the many volunteer regional reviewers.

The bird count website has instructions on how to participate. Find a time and a place where you can watch birds for at least 15 minutes. Record the birds that you see and note the number of each species. Then visit and submit a checklist with your sightings. You can submit as many checklists as you want during the weekend of the count, and each time that you watch birds should be recorded on a separate checklist. If you have further questions about the protocols, check the FAQs.

For more information:
Finally, check out the incredible tally for St. Petersburg, Florida, which reported 1.45 million American Robins over the four days of the count.