Great Backyard Bird Count
February 17-20, 2017
Since 1998, birders of all kinds have come together for a four day bird count in February. Counting birds at the same time every year provides a snapshot into the overall health of bird populations around the world. It can also help scientists learn more about such things as
- Will the weather and climate change influence bird populations?
- How will the timing of this year’s 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? Have they changed?
Years ago as a service project, my Girl Scout Troop participated in this event. It was really fun teaching the girls about what they were possibly going to see in their backyards, and introducing them to thinking a little more about their natural surroundings. The girls loved it!
It’s super easy to participate. Register online and then simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count. You can count from any location, any time of day, anywhere in the world!
To get more information and register your observations, go to the GBBC site.
Are you participating? Did you see anything unusual?
Need help identifying what you see? Here’s a few of my favorite birding books:
- Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America
- Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America
- Birds of North America: A Guide To Field Identification (Golden Field Guide)
- Birds of Illinois Field Guide by Stan Tekiela (Find other state’s books HERE)
This winter I’ve been seeing a Cooper’s Hawk on my feeder pole. I hope he shows up while I’m counting!
Photos by Peggy and Stephi