Bird and other nature fans throughout North America are invited to join tens of thousands of everyday bird watchers for the 12th annual Great Backyard Bird Count from Feb. 13-16.
Participants should plan to count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count. They can count birds in as many places and on as many days as they like—one day, two days or all four days. They should submit a separate checklist for each new day. They can also submit more than one checklist per day if they count in other locations on that day.
Here are directions for counting:
Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see together at any one time. You may find it helpful to print out your regional bird checklist to get an idea of the kinds of birds you're likely to see in this area in February. You could take note of the highest number or each species you see on this checklist.
When you're finished, enter your results through the Web page www.birdcount.org.
"The Great Backyard Bird Count benefits both birds and people," said Judy Braus, Audubon education vice president. "It's a great example of citizen science—anyone who can identify even a few species can contribute to the body of knowledge that is used to inform conservation efforts to protect birds and biodiversity.
"Families, teachers, children and all those who take part get a chance to improve their observation skills, enjoy nature and have a great time counting for fun, counting for the future."