Have you ever dreamed of being a scientist? How would you like to have something in common with Gregor Mendel (genetics), Henrietta Swan Leavitt (astronomy), and Reginald Hooley (paleontology)—citizen scientists all. Now’s your chance. The annual Great Backyard Bird Count runs from February 18-21, and there’s still time to sign up and do your part!
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a GBBC organizer, your count can help answer some important questions, including:
- How has this winter’s snow and cold temperatures influenced bird populations?
- How does the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?
- How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?
- Are there any observable changes in bird diversity from previous years?
- Are there any differences in bird diversity in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?
It doesn’t matter whether you report 5 species that visit your backyard feeder or 50 species you see on a trip to a wildlife refuge. Every bird counts—but only if you count it.
Fly on over to the GBBC website and make sure the birds in your community are represented. John J. Audubon would be so proud.