Great Backyard Bird Count

The 16th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will be held February 15-18, 2013. The GBBC is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are across the U.S. and Canada. Please visit the official website at for more information.
Each checklist submitted by these citizen scientists helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing – and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, participants turned in more than 104,000 checklists online, creating the continent's largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded.
"This count is so fun because anyone can take part -- we all learn and watch birds together -- whether you are an expert, novice, or feeder watcher.  I like to invite new birders to join me and share the experience. Get involved, invite your friends, and see how your favorite spot stacks up." 
-Gary Langham, Chief Scientist
Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from novice bird watchers to experts. Participants count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the event and report their sightings online at
Bird populations are always shifting and changing. For example, 2012 GBBC data highlighted a huge southern invasion of Snowy Owls across much of the United States. Participants counted 666 Snowy Owls on 267 checklists, as compared to the previous high of 237 birds in 2009. Experts believe that Snowy Owls move south from their usual arctic habitats in years when prey, such as lemmings, are scarce. 
On the web site, participants can explore real-time maps and charts that show what others are reporting during the count. The site has tips to help identify birds and special materials for educators. Participants may also enter the GBBC photo contest by uploading images taken during the count. Many images will be featured in the GBBC website’s photo gallery. All participants are entered in a drawing for prizes that include bird feeders, binoculars, books, CDs, and many other great birding products.

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