Monday, February 11, 2008

Citizen Science: Great Backyard Bird Count

Who: You. Ya, you.

What: The annual Great Backyard Bird Count

Where: Your backyard. Duh.

When: Feb. 15th (this Friday) through Feb. 19th. Participate in one or all four days -- your choice.

Why: Because you're smarter than you think, and we have more backyards than ornithologists.

Bird experts are salivating for you to tell them what you've got, how many, and when. Doing so will supplement information on bird species gathered from the annual Christmas Bird Count and Breeding Bird Count, and frame a better picture for ranges and movement patterns among birds. Tracking species occurrences and habitat usage (urban vs. rural, for example) provides information about natural or unnatural fluctuations in bird populations and, therefore, in our environment. These bird counts also enhance our understanding of how major shake-ups in the natural environment - such as those caused by global warming and widespread development - are impacting birds. Any information is good information , whether you have natives or invasives, ten birds or none.

Just click on the link above. Go for it... Embrace your inner scientist for fifteen minutes and participate in a program that you, and no one else, is an expert on: your backyard. You'll feel better for doing it, promise.

Free online bird ID with maps, pictures, descriptions, etc.:
USGS Patuxent Bird Identification Info Center

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