Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Great Backyard Bird Count - GBBC 2016

It's almost time again for the Great Backyard Bird Count. I hope we have a good bunch of birds come through here to count on those days. It was very active around my backyard this morning. I saw yellow-rumped warblers, bluebirds, blue jays, mockingbirds, cardinals, a downy woodpecker, goldfinches, house finches, sparrows, cedar waxwings, a ruby crowned kinglet and mourning doves.

Some of the bird species I saw this morning hang around all year and some of them are just moving through. If you are on the lookout during the bird count you will see species that you wouldn't expect based on bird watching during much of the rest of the year. Do you know all of the birds I listed previously? Which one is in the photo above that I took this morning? (Hint: It is the same bird that is on the GBBC poster below.) I hope the migratory birds hang around long enough to get counted in addition to others. Will you be able to identify more?

Whether the weather is good or bad, the data that you collect during the GBBC helps scientists answer many questions about the distribution of birds and potentially the ecosystems that surround us. Find out how to get involved on the Great Backyard Bird Count's website. Then when February 12-15 roles around, print out a list of birds you could see near you, grab your pencil, binoculars and bird ID book or app and get counting. (A great bird ID app is Merlin from Cornell Lab of Ornithology.)

Need more inspiration? These photos submitted to the GBBC last year of an amazing array of birds from across the globe should provide some. Happy Birding!

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