GBBC. Get outside and make a difference

Valentines, shmalentines! Do something that really matters – take part in the upcoming Great Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.

The count dates are February 15–18, as in this upcoming Friday through Monday.

Anybody can do it. You don’t have to be an expert, you can do it by yourself or locate a group in your area to hang with, and it doesn’t have to to take much time — you only need a minimum of 15 minutes, and you can record your observations online.

Here are the hows and whens.

cormorant

Why do it? What difference can you make anyway?

Bird populations are constantly changing. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to keep track of the complicated patterns of movement of so many species over an entire continent. The information from GBBC participants even more valuable as scientists try to learn how birds are affected by environmental changes.

The information you send in can provide the first sign that individual species may be increasing or declining from year to year. It shows how a species’ range expands or shrinks over time. A big change, noted consistently over a period of years, is an indication that something is happening in the environment that is affecting the birds and that should be followed up on. GBBC information also allows us to look at what kinds of birds inhabit different areas, such as cities versus suburban.

All the information from the GBBC and other surveys goes into a massive bird database called the Avian Knowledge Network. AKN now holds 36 million records of bird observations which are used by scientists around the world.

It’s been my experience and observation that a lot of us liberals talk a big line about science and the environment but too often, we don’t put our asses where our mouths are, even when something as easy and as important as this presents itself.

Now, go outside!

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2 Responses

  1. I thought I would do this but then got frightened off because of the list of birds they used. If I could just list, little brown birds, big black birds, or red birds I would be able to help. I was even thinking about pictures except there is no where to include them in the count.

    Sorry

  2. Sorry, I’m not buying this lame ass excuse.

    Go with the five most simple ones for your area. If it’s red, it’s got to be a cardinal (or maybe a tanager. ) You know what a mockingbird looks like, you know what a grackle is, you know what a crow is. House sparrow, starling.

    C’mon. Quitters never win. Winners never quit.

    Pretend it’s a sport. You’re a Blue Devil birdwatcher.
    Go!

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