Great Backyard Bird Count 2011 #GBBC #birding

Mark your calendar now for February 18 - 21, 2011!

Are you seeing pine siskins this winter?  You need to report them!

The Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up and is an easy way for you to help track winter bird populations in your yard.  Anyone with a remote interest in birds can participate.  It doesn't matter if you live in an urban area or a suburban backyard or out in the middle of nowhere--you can document birds. This 4 day event is an attempt to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.  You tally the highest number of birds of each species seen together at any one time. You can fill out an online checklist at the Great Backyard Bird Count website.

A black-capped chickadee chowing down on a deer rib cage.  As the count progresses, anyone with Internet access can explore what is being reported from their own towns or anywhere in the United States and Canada. You can also see how this year's numbers compare with those from previous years. Participants may also send in photographs of the birds they see. A selection of images is posted in the online photo gallery.

So, take a look at your calendars and see if you can set aside at least 15 minutes to count birds for 4 days in February, the 18th through the 21st.  Maybe make it a fun get together with friends!  Invite kids to sit and count with you, make it a fun game.  Or make it an early afternoon Birds and Beers with some of your buds to count birds.  Whatever, but give it a try this winter.