The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is coming — Feb. 13 through 16, 2015 — and you’re invited to participate. It’s easy and it’s free.
The Great Backyard Bird Count team — made up of National Audubon Society, Cornell (University) Lab of Ornithology, and Bird Studies Canada –works together on this worldwide annual bird count. Volunteers like you in dozens of countries participate. GBBC went global in 2013. Here is the official site to learn more and participate.
In 2014, people from 6 continents submitted checklists. Here are the tallies
- Checklists Submitted: 144,109
- Total Species Observed: 4,296
- Total Individual Birds Counted:17,748,756
You will need to create a GBBC account (it’s really easy). Anyone in your household can participate. You can do your counts at home or a nearby park/woods. And you can submit counts every day– or not. It’s good to submit a list online every day, but not required. And it’s fun! Here’s the instructions
Why is it important? Populations of some bird species are declining dramatically; some others are flourishing. Your participation – and your counts –actually helps bird experts figure out what’s going on in different regions and countries.
A troubling new study by the National Audubon Society points out half of bird species in the U.S. are increasingly endangered as a result of climate change. A second report State of the Birds Report Card –just released by Cornell, the Smithsonian and other partners — presents similar concerns and a Watch List of vulnerable species.
Science Friday (NPR radio) interviews Gary Langham of the National Audubon Society and Ken Rosenberg from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on which species are under threat and how climate change might affect birds in the future.
Gary Langham, Audubon’s chief scientist and lead investigator, says, “ It’s an urgent message. Nearly half of the bird species in the US and Canada are seriously threatened by climate change.”