One week until what you might ask? One of my favorite weekends of the whole year: the Great Backyard Bird Count!
The Great Backyard Bird Count (or GBBC) was created by my two favorite bird organizations: the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. It is a citizen science project where people from all over the world count birds and submit the data in real time. GBBC always takes place the second weekend of February from Friday to Monday (February 12-15 this year).
Here’s how it works:
- Go to any location you want to. Despite being called a “backyard” count, you can go birding anywhere.
- Count all the birds you see and keep a list of your data The GBBC site recommends you count for at least 15 minutes at each location you choose.
- Go to ebird.org and submit your data. It’s super easy to make an eBird account and it’s free.
- Go birding as much as you want throughout the 4-day weekend.
Last year, 5,090 species around the world were counted in 100 countries! Over 18 million individual birds were counted in that 4-day period. Participating is a lot of fun, so if you like to bird watch plan on doing in for the GBBC next weekend. If you want to learn more check out the GBBC official website: gbbc.birdcount.org
Yesterday I was talking about winter flocks. When I arrived home from work this afternoon there was a flock of at least 200 European Starling in my parking lot. They were spread between a few surrounding trees and very loudly chittering away. I wonder what they were all talking so loudly about.
So the count down to GBBC has begun. In the meantime, the weather should be pretty nice here in New Jersey the next few days, so check back here for more birds! Happy birding!