Great Backyard Bird Count: Starts Feb 14

Cardinal Courtesy of Michele Black (Ohio)

Cardinal Courtesy of Michele Black (Ohio)

Get signed up ASAP to participate in the Great Backyard Bird CountFeb 14-17-– organized by Audubon and Cornell University’s Ornithology Lab. If you feed birds or are a bird watcher, this is a slam dunk. Even if you’re pretty casual about your birding habits, this event requires very little time and is easy to do. It’s a great family event. And bird “counters” are participating worldwide. Sign up details below.

Right now, it is especially cold in the Washington DC area, so we are feeding the birds (and squirrels) several times a day with cracked corn, black oil sunflower seeds, whole peanuts (blue jays lift  and weigh them before selecting one to carry off). Suet hanger on a tree  is a cheap and rewarding addition: we have three kinds of woodpeckers arriving for this treat. Essential: fresh water on the ground  in extra-large plant saucers  You don’t have to invest in an expensive feeder. Distribute food on the ground and watch them come!

Here’s how easy it is to participate in the GBBC:

Go to the GBBC homepage

Link to the “how to participate” section

1. Create a GBBC account. This applies to those who have never participated in the GBBC before or those who did not participate in 2013 when GBBC was integrated with eBird. You will be able to access all your observations under a single account. If you’re already registered with eBird or another Cornell Lab citizen-science project, you can use the same login information.

2. Count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the GBBC. You can count for longer than that if you wish! Count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like—one day, two days, or all four days. Submit a separate checklist for each new day, for each new location, or for the same location if you counted at a different time of day. Estimate the number of individuals of each species you saw during your count period.

3. Enter your results on the GBBC website by clicking “Submit Your Bird Checklist” on the home page. See our downloadable instructions below for additional details on entering your checklists.

There’s lots of other helpful information:

GBBC newsletter 

Learn what to feed birds

Learn about birds

Northern Flicker. Courtesy of Gary Mueller (rights reserved). National Audubon Society

Northern Flicker. Courtesy of Gary Mueller (rights reserved). National Audubon Society