The Great Backyard Bird Count starts today and runs through February 17, 2020. It’s a great activity for kids, especially for those who live in the northern climes, when the temps are low and the winds do blow. It’s easy, fun and only takes 15 minutes of your time each day.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society together launched the Great Backyard Bird Count back in 1998. It was the first opportunity for citizens to collect data on wild birds and post it online. The uber cool thing is that results are displayed in near real-time.
More than 100,000 people from across the globe have joined the count each February. It’s important to bird conservation because it creates an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds. Having this data helps scientists understand the status of bird populations and develop conservation plans based on their needs and distribution.
- Go to the Great Backyard Bird Count page and register.
- Count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or all of the days. You can count in the same location or anywhere else you happen to be.
- Keep your lists tallied by species (i.e. – Cardinal, Black-Capped Chickadee, Blue Jay, etc.)
- Enter your results on the GBBC website by clicking “Submit Observations” on the home page. Or download the free GBBC BirdLog app to enter data on a mobile device.
- Download any of the helpful documents such as instructions, online bird guides, and helpful videos.
- Go to the online world map via the GBBC landing page and watch near real-time submissions.
- Read the results from previous year that are downloadable from the landing page.
- Print out the participation certificate available on the website and have your kids fill it out.
- Encourage them to enter the photo contest. They can also view photos of past winners.
- Participate in local events if in your area. The list is available on the site.
- Choose one species and spend time learning more about it.
- Draw pictures or write stories and poems about the bird.
- Go outside and refill the bird feeders when you finish counting. Birds depend on a specific food source all winter. Don’t let them down.
Join thousands of people world-wide and encourage your kids to “Count for the Birds!”