Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Well, it that time of year again. Yep, the Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up! It's a very fun and easy way to participate in citizen science and to have your observations truly contribute to the scientific studies of birds. Plus, it's something that you enjoy doing anyway....watching birds!

The first thing you can do, is set aside some time between Feb. 12th-15th to count birds. You can spend as little as 15 minutes counting on just 1 day, or as much as 10 hours each of the four days. It's completely up to you! For more info, just visit the GBBC website and have a look around.

(Townsend's Warbler)

Now, when the count actually starts (on Feb. 12th) the only thing you need to do is count the greatest number of each species that you see together at any one time. So, for example, if you see 5 Juncos together in the morning, and then you see 10 Juncos together in the evening, you would just mark down that you saw 10 Juncos. For more info on how it works, see this page.

(Yellow-Rumped Warbler)

If you're not sure what species you may have in your area, you can download and/or print a regional checklist directly from the GBBC website here!

(Evening Grosbeaks)

Then, after you are done with your count for the day, you can go here to the input page (the actual form will be available the first day of the count). This is a very easy form to fill out and only takes a few minutes. You just never know what you might find in your backyard!

(Bald Eagle)

So don't lounge around all day! Just pick up your binoculars and a piece of paper and keep track of what you see. If you want to, grab your camera and take some photos of the birds you see during the count. You can submit your pics on the site and have a chance to win some great prizes...take a look!

(Canada Goose Gosling)

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Rhett Wilkins said...

Hey Guys,

Is that a Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler? Was that shot in your backyard here in Portland, and if so, how common are they around here?

Thanks so much,

Seth and Michelle said...


Thanks for the question. Yes, you are correct! That is the Myrtle. It was taken at Jackson Bottom Wetlands, in Hillsboro, OR. The Myrtles are common in migration and an uncommon in winter.

We have had a couple of Myrtle in the yard over the last few years.

CE Webster said...

Enjoyed the pictures! I'm looking forward to the bird count coming up. Plus, it's a sign that spring is nearing and the migrating birds will be starting back.