One, two, three…

red-breasted nuthatch
Red-breasted nuthatch (Photo: P. Bonenfant, Creative Commons license)

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.

9 Replies to “One, two, three…”

    1. I don’t know about all of Europe, but the UK does have a similar program, sponsored by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has something similar called The Big Garden Birdwatch. This year’s BGB was held January 29-30, but I’d bet before long they’ll have the information up on next year’s event. And they may even know about similar events in other parts of Europe. Check it out–

      Big Garden Birdcount

  1. Thank you for using my Great Aunt Henrietta Swan Leavitt to inspire others to take advantage of and improve their observation skills!

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