Thursday, January 26th, 2023
Thursday, January 26th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Massive Great Backyard Bird Count Just Weeks Away

Forsyth, Ga. – The continent-wide Great Backyard Bird Count
returns for its 12th season Feb. 13-16. The National Audubon
Society, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and the Georgia Wildlife
Resources Division invite Georgians to join this event that spans
North America.

Wildlife biologist Todd Schneider of the Wildlife Resources
Division said there is value for scientists in the data gathered
and trends reported. But what he prizes is participants paying
closer attention to birds and raising their awareness of these
amazing creatures.“The best part is the educational value,”
Schneider said.

All eyes are needed and all birds count, whether spotted from
backyards or high-rise balconies, at city parks or state-owned
natural areas.

In 2008, Georgia ranked eighth in checklists (3,135) and fifth
in species (221), as watchers logged an estimated 235,772 birds.
Across North America, more than 9.8 million birds and 635 species
were reported via 85,725 checklists, the fourth straight year of
record checklist totals. The species most frequently reported? The
northern cardinal. Savannah reported the second-most species seen
per city, with 166.

In the Great Backyard Bird Count, birders of all skill levels
contribute data to monitoring that is considered an important
component of bird conservation efforts. The count is also a gateway
into citizen science programs such as Project Feeder Watch,
Christmas Bird Counts and the Breeding Bird Survey. These counts
can trigger a lifelong passion for birds.

During the four-day event, participants tally birds for as
little as 15 minutes or as long as they like on one or more days.
People enter their numbers online at www.birdcount.org, where they can
explore sightings maps, lists and charts as the count progresses.
The Web site includes tips to help identify birds and resources for
teachers. Photos also can be submitted to an online gallery, and
bird videos uploaded to a YouTube site.

For more than a decade, the Great Backyard Bird Count has kept
tabs on the changing patterns of birds in winter. Last year’s
reports included 12 species new to the survey, underscored declines
documented by other sources for common birds such as northern
bobwhites and eastern meadowlarks, and marked at least 21 species
including peach-faced lovebirds and black-hooded parakeets that are
not on official North American bird lists.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Director John Fitzpatrick said that
with 11 years of data, the count “has documented the fine-grained
details of late-winter bird distributions better than any project
in history, including some truly striking changes just over the
past decade.”

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a free event sponsored in part
by Wild Birds Unlimited. Visit www.birdcount.org for a free 2009
poster and details on promoting the count locally.GREAT BACKYARD
BIRD COUNT at a glance

  • What: Citizen science project counting and identifying bird
    species.
  • When: Feb. 13-16.
  • Where: From backyards to national forests across North
    America.
  • Whom: People of all birding skill levels.
  • How: Participants count birds for as little as 15 minutes or as
    long as they like for one or more days and report their sightings
    online.
  • Details: www.birdcount.org

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