The 16th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) runs from February 15th thru February 18th 2013. Participating is easy: Simply watch birds for at least 15 minutes at the location of your choice on one or more of the count days, estimate the number of birds you see for each species you can identify, and report your observations. On the web site www.birdcount.org you’ll select your location on a map, answer a few questions, enter your tallies, and then submit your data to share your sightings with others around the world.
This year, after 15 years of success in North America, the count is open to anyone anywhere in the world. The global capacity for the count will be powered by eBird, an online checklist program for all of the world’s 10,240 bird species. Participants will be able to view what others are seeing on interactive maps (on eBird.org), keep their own records, and have their tallies recorded for perpetuity.
“This year’s count will give us a whole new perspective as sightings pour in from around the globe in real time,” said Marshall Iliff at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Millions of people encounter birds every day all over the world. Imagine what scientists will learn if each one of us shares observations from our own area!”
“The GBBC is an ideal opportunity for young and old to connect with nature by discovering birds and to participate in a huge science project,” said Gary Langham, Audubon’s Chief Scientist. “This year, we hope people on all seven continents, oceans, and islands, will head out into their neighborhoods, rural areas, parks, and wilderness to further our understanding of birds across the hemispheres.”