Posts Tagged ‘Great Backyard Bird Count’

The Great Backyard Bird Count is fast approaching! Every year, birders take to their yards and have a look around. This is the essence of the Great Backyard Bird Count, or GBBC as it is sometimes referred to. The idea is that, like a Christmas bird count or breeding bird survey, individuals can all contribute to a snapshot of bird activity over a large geographic area. This year, the dates are between February 12th and 15th. By comparing these snapshots over time, a lot of amazing observations can be made.

One of the great things about the GBBC is that it is so easy to participate in. You do not need to drive far, there is no difficult terrain to overcome, you don’t even have to get in touch with an organizer in advance and tell them you are coming! All you need to do is go to your backyard and count birds for as long or short a period of time as you like, and then post the list of what you saw online. That’s it!

One of things that makes the GBBC special is its place in the history of birding. In 1988, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society got together and launched a project where individual birders could individually count birds and then put them online. Now remember, in 1988 birding was not very digital. This was actually the first time that a nation wide attempt like this had ever been made! It was a huge success, and the GBBC took off. Even larger efforts like eBird may not have happened if not the pioneering idea of the GBBC. The rise of citizen science was likewise fueled by the success of the GBBC.

This year, the GBBC has a theme: Take someone birding! The idea this year is to share birding with someone else. Maybe it is someone who has never birded before. Maybe it is someone how birds, but does not add sighting to online databases. Maybe it is someone how is a serious birder who you simply don’t go birding with very often. Whatever the case may be, this year (starting tomorrow) go out and bird with someone!

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