Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Great Backyard Bird Count -- February 12-15, 2010


When was the last time you changed the world in 15 minutes? 

We're excited about the chance.  Denny and I are participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada.

The count is from February 12-15, and it's easy to take part, anywhere in North America.  Denny and I are going to watch/count birds at our front and backyard feeding areas.  From inside the house...could it be easier to be a wildlife champion?  

This post is a challenge to all my friends and readers--try it yourselves, do a Backyard Bird Count.

You don't actually need a backyard or any kind of yard, just a place to watch birds for at least 15 minutes a day--park, school, churchyard, graveyard, beach, anywhere there are birds. Do it one day or every day of the Count.  Once a day or more, your choice.
It's easy.  Round up a pair of binoculars and a bird book.  Add a friend if you want company.  I like watching with Denny because our four eyes are better than my two.  

Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see together at any one time during a watch period.   

GBBC has **tally sheets you can print out listing the species for your area. (Follow the link on 'tally sheet', enter your town and state or zip code and voila, a list of possible birds for your area broken out in families--sparrows, finches, gulls, etc..)

Report by entering your checklist online, one for each watch-period.  It's easy and fast. You'll join thousands of citizen-scientists contributing data toward understanding and preserving the world's bird populations.  

As good as helping the birds, you'll be helping yourself--
Focusing on nature clears the mind. Embracing beauty helps you see life in new ways. Connecting to the world creates happiness.

And your brain will grow from the exercise. 

...maybe this opportunity is even better for the watchers than the birds...
For my blogging friends, do a post about your GBBC experience and drop by Hill Country Mysteries to enter the URL in the widget on that day's post.  We'll all share your experience.

Words and photos by Kathleen Scott,for her blog Hill Country Mysteries. Copyright 2009-2010.


  1. I'll have to do this from inside, as it's pretty chilly here in Michigan, and we're expecting a killer snowstorm. How about if I count inches of snow for you? ;-)

    Seriously, we all get excited here when we see the first robin -- I'm on the lookout for her. And a poet friend of mine has a wonderful poem about a cardinal, which she always views as a sign of something wonderful to come. I do too. Seeing that bright bird against the snow always gives me a lift!

    Wonderful photos, as always.

  2. I'm tempted...
    I feel like our area is abundant in birds , or perhaps I never noticed before.
    I'd have to do a take photo first , identify after method on many of them.

  3. "Focusing on nature clears the mind. Embracing beauty helps you see life in new ways. Connecting to the world creates happiness."

    Girl, you said a mouthful. That's why, for exercise, I prefer woods walking to the treadmill, any day of the week. It clears away brain fog, lifts my spirit, and helps me to feel connected to something larger.

    p.s. My brother's surgery is 2-23 at M D Anderson in Orlando. His youthful surgeon is an artist, and feels confident about Steve's prognosis for full recovery.

  4. Cindy, we'll be watching from indoors too. Your observations can help with the picture of how bird populations are making through your hard winter.

    Deb, great idea to do photos for ID!

    Hi Beth,thanks for stopping by. Nature is like religion for me. Our gardens nurture me more than I nurture them.

    I'm so glad to know your brother is in good hands. We'll be thinking of him on the 23rd. He has a tough time coming but there is hope. And your family's support will give him courage and strength for each day.

  5. That is a good endeavor for the environment. My nephew and i do that when we go for walks, we are maybe the only people in our area in the province who do that. Actually we are so sad that the 2 pied fantails were lost, maybe they are the owners of the feathers we saw eaten by our cat who loves to catch and eat birds. Your photos are beautiful, would love to do that but dont have a good birding camera.

  6. This is a really neat event! I wonder if I could get my toddler to sit still and watch birds for 15 minutes a day? She's been pretty obsessed with her feathered friends lately. . .I'm definitley gonna check out the list of 'available' birds in my area. I've often wondered what names some of those little guys have been given. It'll be nice to finally know!

  7. The great Bird Census of 2010! Thanks for sharing this opportunity to be a part of birding. I'm going to check it out.

  8. I'm a mom, a blogger, and a Ph.D. student, and I need your help. I'm doing a study about why women blog, and you have been selected at random to participate in a short survey about what motivates you to blog and what you get out of blogging.

    Here is the link: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/231228/women-bloggers

    Thanks in advance for your help. Feel free to contact me at gmmasull@syr.edu if you have any questions.

    Gina Chen
    Ph.D. student
    S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
    Syracuse University


My readers are all geniuses. Can't wait to see what you have to say.