Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Great BackYard Bird Count!

Get ready to count dem birds! Friday, February 15th-Monday, February 18th is the Great Backyard Bird Count, a joint project by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. What a way to spend the weekend and support a citizen science project all at the same time. This is a lot of fun, and last year I was able to submit the Bullock's Oriole to the count. What a beaut! You can view this gorgeous creature on the website, under the photo winners. Marty Jones took a great shot of it. The count is pretty simple; just count as long as you wish, wherever you are. Then go online and submit your list. You will be registered for great prizes like binoculars, feeders and books with each list you submit. If you are a great photographer, which I am not (yet!), you can submit your photos for prizes, too.

It's a great project because they use the results to track birds all over the United States. The site allows you to explore results from past years, all the way back to 1999, to see where a specific species has been observed. For instance, if you are interested in where all the Golden Eagles were spotted, it can generate a map that shows where they were discovered. Or you can generate a list of locations where they spotted Golden Eagles in Indiana during the count. Really simple and fascinating. Here is the map I generated showing where all the Golden Eagles were spotted during the count in 2007. At least one was spotted in southeast Indiana!

Have fun counting those birds! I know I will!


No comments: