That magical time of year when our thoughts turn to the ones we love is fast approaching. No, I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day. It’s time for the Great Backyard Bird Count!
The Great Backyard Bird Count, or GBBC for those in the know, is an annual four-day event that exhorts bird watchers across North America to count birds in their backyards, favorite patches, or treasured hotspots in the interest of citizen science. The result is a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent.
In 2008, participants reported more than 9.8 million birds of 635 species via more than 85,000 checklists, an all-time count record. Here are six facts you should know about this year’s GBBC:
- The 2009 Great Backyard Bird Count is February 13-16.
- The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.
- Thanks to Rob Fergus (aka Birdchaser), the GBBC has both a blog and a Twitter group.
- The Great Backyard Bird Count is perfect for kids as well as adults.
- Last year’s GBBC has a photo contest. This year’s event will have one too.
- Participation is easy and free, an unstoppable combination!
As always, I’ll be participating in this year’s GBBC. Last year’s count was very good for me. I have high hopes for this year as well since for once, I actually have a backyard! How about you? Will you be participating in the 2009 Great Backyard Bird Count? Where will you be counting birds?
Is this separate from ebird? If I post my sightings on ebird should I also post them on the Great Backyard Bird Count site?
Joseph, I believe you have to record these observations specifically through the GBBC site for the data to be of use.
I wanted to make sure I wasn’t double counting if I posted to both sites. When I commented on 10,000 birds I also sent an e-mail to Cornell and received this answer:
Yes, please report to both. The data base for the GBBC is completely separate from the much larger one for eBird. It would be very helpful to report to both lists. Thanks for asking and good luck with your counting this weekend!
Public Information Specialist
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.