2008 GBBC badgeWe’re entering the home stretch on winter here in North America, which means it must be time for the Great Backyard Bird Count! The GBBC is an awesome birding tradition that elevates awareness of February feeder bird distribution, mobilizes a nation of bored citizen scientists into productive action, and brings out the backyard birder in all of us. The 2008 GBBC, scheduled for February 15-18, promises to be the most sophisticated one yet; it even boasts a blog, maintained by our Birdchaser buddy, Rob Fergus.

The rules governing the Great Backyard Bird Count haven’t changed. Find out how to participate at the official website and prepare your backyard for optimal feederwatching (hint: birds crave black oil sunflower seeds!)

Audubon Backyard BirdwatchTo celebrate the 2008 Great Backyard Bird Count, we at 10,000 Birds are giving away not one, but two copies of the new Audubon Backyard Birdwatch. I think this book is a fantastic resource for backyard birders and want you or that special backyard birder in your life to have a copy. This promotion has two parts, each of which will produce one recipient of a free book from its distinguished publisher, DK.

1. Tell us your favorite backyard bird.
Easy, right? All you have to do is leave a comment below or send me (mike AT 10000birds DOT com) an e-mail (put “Most Beloved Backyard Bird” in the header) naming the bird that you most enjoy seeing in your backyard. Feel free to briefly state why you favor that bird over all others. One participant in this promotion, which happens to be open to readers around the world even if the GBBC is not, will be selected randomly to receive a copy of Audubon Backyard Birdwatch. In addition, we’ll count all of the ballots to determine the Most Beloved Backyard Bird 2008, an honor avians didn’t even know they were vying for until today! Since we’re talking about love here and Valentine’s Day conveniently falls on GBBC eve this year, let’s have all votes cast by end of day February 13!

2. Spread the word about this (amazing) promotion.
The crown of Most Beloved Backyard Bird 2008 won’t mean much to its recipient if the electorate is undersized! We’d like hundreds, perhaps even thousands of votes to be sure that we’ve accurately identified the avian most endowed with affection by feederwatchers and backyard birders. Link to this promotion on your blog, forum, newsletter, etc. and let me know that you did so and you’ll be in the running for the second copy of Audubon Backyard Birdwatch, also awarded randomly. This act of kindness, alerting others to an opportunity to receive a free copy of a great book, is most appreciated and will undoubtedly be rewarded by the birding deities with a bumper crop of rarities some time soon.

So celebrate the coming Great Backyard Bird Count in style by nominating your favorite backyard bird for the title of Most Beloved Backyard Bird 2008 and receive a free copy of Audubon Backyard Birdwatch. This is going to be the best GBBC ever!

UPDATE 2/14/08  – The winners of the book giveaway and, more importantly, your choice for Most Beloved Backyard Bird 2008, have been announced!

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Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.