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Annual Great Backyard Bird Count Starts Today

Join the Great Backyard Bird Count, now in its 16th year, to help scientists and researchers understand bird trends throughout the country.

Jessica Pineda
Posted: February 15, 2013, 3:45 p.m. PST

Male Cardinal Bird
© Jennifer Taggart, Pennsylvania
In 2012, GBBC participants reported the Northern Cardinal on more checklists than any other species for the eighth year in a row.
The annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) starts today! Now in its 16th year, the Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. The GBBC is an annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers, from beginners to experts, in counting birds to create a real-time look of where birds are. This year’s count takes place February 15 to 18, 2013.

The data collected helps researchers and scientists understand bird population trends that can contribute to conservation efforts. The GBBC data helps scientist answer questions like: how weather influences bird populations; why certain bird species appear in large numbers during some years but not others; how the timing of birds’ migration compare to other years; how diseases, such as West Nile virus, affect birds in different regions and more. The count also helps scientists and researchers determine where birds are, and how their diversity differs in cities, suburban backyards, etc. In 2012, counters submitted 104,151 checklists with 17.4 million individual bird observations.

Counting is easy: the GBBC asks you to take 15 minutes to do a count of the birds in your area, and then upload your data on their website. If you’re a photographer, you can submit pictures as well, to be entered into a photo contest.

Learn more about the Great Backyard Bird Count at their website here.

Learn more about how to feed wild and backyard birds here.

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Annual Great Backyard Bird Count Starts Today

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Reader Comments
Great project!
Traci, Glendale, OR
Posted: 6/17/2013 12:51:42 PM
read the bird count results and am happy so many bird species were observed.
janet, henderson, NV
Posted: 3/5/2013 10:00:07 AM
I did participate in this last year. It was a fun project. My main backyard birds are mockingbirds and darling hummingbirds.
janet, henderson, NV
Posted: 2/18/2013 11:27:24 AM
a terrific project
Carol, Silver Spring, MD
Posted: 2/18/2013 10:09:32 AM
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