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It’s that time of year again! When families everywhere will be counting the birds that come to their yards in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) sponsored by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada. This year’s count takes place on February 13- 16, 2015.
Observe & Submit Your Bird Checklist
Have you participated in the GBBC before? If not, you can read all about how to get started. It’s a pretty easy gig:
- Register or log in for the count.
- Count birds for at least 15 minutes a day on one or more days of the GBBC.
- You can count for longer than 15 minutes and you can count birds on as many days and in as many places as you’d like during the GBBC.
- Read the directionsfor submitting the checklists using the checklist page or the new app.
- Do you regularly use eBird? eBird is another website where you can submit bird sightings year round. If you are already an eBird user, please use your eBird account and your observations during these dates will count toward the GBBC. That is great information because I did not know that.
Use GBBC Data to Map The Results
Did you know you can access historical data on the GBBC? This would be a fun map making adventure.
- There a few map options available to explore on the website.
- Toggle between top ten lists for species and the map room to find what to map.
- Pick a favorite bird species and map its populations in North America- or name any location.
- Observe the data and see if you can find winter patterns or to see if any migration patterns emerge.
- Look to see if there are patterns in the activity of a species using the places page.
- What other types of maps could you make using the data from the GBBC? Tell us about them!
Resources for the GBBC
Need some help to keep things easy? Here are a few resources made available by the folks with the GBBC.
- Create your own tally sheet.
- A downloadable pdf data form
- Birding apps recommended by the GBBC- this makes it easy to keep track of the birds you see and you can use it to log your results when the count is complete.
- iBird Pro mobile bird guide- It’s got a thorough library of bird species information, calls, pictures, etc. This is one of the few apps I’ve paid for for my phone!
- Merlin– this is a new app by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This looks pretty good although it’s not available for Android until the spring. Bummer! It’s a bird ID guide- I saw the prototype at the lab a couple years ago and it’s fun to use.
Join us this weekend to count some backyard birds and submit your results to the GBBC. Our feeder needs filling before we get more snow tomorrow. We see a bunch of birds daily out there enjoying our black oil sunflower seeds. I’m looking forward to officially tallying them this weekend.
Need a great way to record your birds during the count? Check out these bird notebooking pages from Harrington Harmonies.