Don’t forget that the 18th annual Great Backyard Bird Count starts tomorrow and runs through Monday. This event spans both Valentine’s Day and the President’s Day holiday, so presents great opportunities to get outside with a loved one or a little one and share a love of nature.
This is also your chance to contribute to a scientific body of knowledge! The count reveals the current health of bird populations and in recent years has highlighted the impacts of weather events like polar vortexes on bird ranges.
Imagine that helping the world is as easy as sitting outside in your back yard for half an hour and making notes about what you see! You’ll watch for birds of course, but in the process you’ll see more aspects of nature unfold.
Last year, I hit the jackpot. Sitting in our backyard, in late afternoon on the last day of the count, I saw no birds for nearly an hour. The inactivity made me feel impatient, I’ll admit. It was a big relief to see that first mourning dove.
Between those that came into the yard to feed on nectar plants and brittlebushes and those that flew overhead, the numbers of birds I sighted added up quickly. By the time I finally and reluctantly went back inside to resume routine activities, I’d tallied up six species! Not only could I record the numbers, it was fun to observe what the birds in my backyard were up to.
Back inside, take up the cloak of citizen scientist! It’s time to log onto birdcount.org and record your findings. Last year 144,000 checklists were logged online over the four day count. For an activity that’s fun, educational, free, and a contribution to science, the numbers should be far higher. Come on, join in. Give the GBBC a try this year!
Let me know what you saw~