Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bird is the Word

12th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count

February 13 – 16, 2009


It's that time of year again: the Great Backyard Bird Count! Yippee!

For my fellow birders out there, it's a chance to do a little "citizen science," and you can even do it from the comfort of your own home. At some point over the four days of the count, take a minimum of 15 minutes and count all the species of birds that come to your feeders, or that you can reliably identify in the trees. Enter the information on the website, and you've just helped ornithologists track migration patterns and trends in population! Millions across the country participate, and it's been an invaluable source of information for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Audubon Society, and for conservation in general.

Since we'll be in Chicago much of Saturday and Sunday, I plan on doing a couple of hours on Friday, and a couple of hours on Monday. I put out all kinds of food, watch the birds come and go, and tally them up on my little checklist. I've done if for a few years now, and I look forward to it every year. It's even resulted in a couple of new sightings for me: a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker in 2007, and a Common Redpoll in 2008. Who knows what I might see this year? Maybe an Ivory-Billed Woodpecker! (A little birding humor, haha.)

Visit the website for more information (you can also click on the picture above), instructions on how to count (I know you know how to count, but how to count so that you don't count birds more than once!), and to print out checklists for your area.

Happy birding!


  1. We have a large hedge that fills up with all kinds of birds. Not sure if I'll be able to name them but I think this might be fun for our young one. Enjoy your trip and have a wonderful day,

  2. I did the bird count for a couple of years when we had a big plot of land. It was interesting as well as fun. It's not an option for me this year because I'm working all weekend and have such a tiny plot of land that I doubt I'd get a good result.

  3. It was the big bird count over here a couple of weeks ago and my sister who has the most wonderul "feeding station" for all sorts of birds sat off and on all weekend marking them all off. I think she said she counted 15 diferent species this year. She just loves her birds...
    I think your drawings are ever so good and think that you should be keeping up with the good work.
    Much Love for now Sybil xx

  4. This sounds like fun, I am always watching them anyway so I should put it to good use. I don't know many of the proper names though.


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