My friend Debi at Go Explore Nature posted about this weekend’s annual Great Backyard Bird Count (put on by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology), and that reminded me that I should share about it here, too! Patrick and I have participated in this fun citizen science project for a few years now. It’s simple: count birds for a predetermined amount of time on any or all of the days (February 14-17), then enter your data on a website (# of each species identified, location, weather, etc.).
It’s a great family activity to connect to nature in your neighborhood and participate in a larger scientific endeavour. Ornithologists use the data to learn about bird distribution and the health of populations. All of this data would be impossible to gather without the help of citizen science volunteers, so it is a rewarding activity!
Our resources for identifying birds in our yard:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds website
The book National Geographic Field Guide to Birds: Washington/Oregon
Audubon Society of Portland’s Joe Liebezeit wrote about the GBBC for the Intertwine’s blog: Citizen Science: This Valentine’s Day is for the birds
The GBBC has an instructional you can watch to learn more about the project and get involved!