Join The Great Backyard Bird Count

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Photo by Patricia Jones-Mestas

The Eurasian Collared-Dove is being seen more often in the Southwest.

Bird watchers coast to coast are invited to take part in the 13th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, Friday, Feb. 12, through Monday, Feb. 15, 2010.  Participants in the free event will join tens of thousands of volunteers counting birds in their own backyards, local parks or wildlife refuges.

Each checklist submitted by these “citizen scientists” helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada learn more about how the birds are doing — and how to protect them. Last year, participants turned in more than 93,600 checklists online, creating the continent’s largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded.

Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from novice bird watchers to experts. Participants count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the event and report their sightings online at www.birdcount.org.

Bird populations are always shifting and changing. On the www.birdcount.org Web site, participants can explore real-time maps and charts that show what others are reporting during the count. The site has tips to help identify birds and special materials for educators.

For more information about the GBBC, visit the Web site at www.birdcount.org. Or contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at (800) 843-2473, gbbc@cornell.edu, or Audubon at (202) 861-2242 ext. 3050, citizenscience@ audubon.org.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is made possible, in part, by generous support from Wild Birds Unlimited.

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