The Great Backyard Bird Count 2017 kicks off February 17-20, 2017, and is one birding activity that can be done from literally anywhere on the planet. Join hundreds of thousands of people of all ages and walks of life to create a snapshot of birds across the world. All you have to do is spend 15 minutes tallying the numbers and types of birds you see on one or more of the days of the count. You can count birds at your local park, nearby wildlife reserve, or your own backyard. To find out more information on The Great Backyard Bird Count 2017 and sign up, click here.
WHY COUNT BIRDS?
Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document and understand the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.
Scientists use the GBBC information, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations. The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions, like these:
- How will the weather influence bird populations?
- Where are winter finches and other “irruptive” species that appear in large numbers during some years but not others?
- How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?
- How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?
- What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?
The Great Backyard Bird Count is led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, with Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada and sponsorship from Wild Birds Unlimited.