This weekend (February 15-17) marks the 16th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)!
The GBBC is a joint partnership between Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, with Bird Studies Canada as the official Canadian partner. It is open to birders of all ages and abilities, and helps provide researchers with citizen science data about where birds are each February.
Last year’s unseasonably warm weather and lack of snow and ice in some regions led to more than two million Snow Geese being reported in two counts at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri. In Ruskin, Florida, participants reported more than one million Tree Swallows, vaulting the species to the GBBC top-ten list of the most numerous birds for the first time ever.
Scientists use the GBBC information to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations. The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions, like what kinds of population shifts and changes can be expected from future climate change.
Please visit www.ebird.org for more information or to download a checklist and participate! Also, make sure to snap some great photos to upload for the National Audubon Society website to be entered for some great prizes!