Thursday, February 11, 2010

Backyard Bird Count this weekend can be a snapshot of environmental trends

Bird watchers across the country can unite this weekend as the Great Backyard Bird Count commences its 13th annual event. The GBBC "aims to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent and in Hawaii" and is sponsored by the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and, for the first time, Bird Studies Canada, Kelly Burgess of the Los Angeles Times reports. Participants count birds for as little as 15 minutes on at least one day of the event and report their sightings online. (Hummingbird photo by Pete Thomas)

"Even if you can identify a few species you can provide important information that enables scientists to learn more about how the environment is changing and how that affects our conservation priorities," Judy Braus, the Audubon Society's vice president for education, told Burgess. Last year's count included 94,165 checklists which identified 620 species and counted 11,558,638 individual birds, Burgess reports. (Read more)

The GBBC's Web site includes more information about the count including including printable regional tally sheets, frequently asked questions and information on entering the annual photo contest.

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