Great Backyard Bird Count
A week ago, my grandmother sent a thick envelope. Inside were brochures about the Great Backyard Bird Count. Grandma Truus knows I love bird watching and that at four years old Lil is a fairly proficient birder too. She asked us if we would participate. Of course! Not only do I usually do what my elders ask, but I have fond memories of participating in bird counts as a high schooler.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is simple. From their website:
1. Plan to count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count (Friday February 12 - Monday February 15). You can count for longer than that if you wish! Count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like—one day, two days, or all four days. Submit a separate checklist for each new day. You can also submit more than one checklist per day if you count in other locations on that day.
2. 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 your area in February. You could take note of the highest number of each species you see on this checklist.
3. When you're finished, enter your results through our web page. You'll see a button marked "Enter Your Checklists!" on the website home page beginning on the first day of the count. It will remain active until the deadline for data submission on March 1st.
We have two feeders in the backyard that I keep stocked with sunflower seeds from early December - mid March. We watch juncos, sparrows, cardinals, chickadees, and more from our dining room through the sliding glass door. Every year the birds miss a few seeds which we allow to grow into tall beautiful sunflowers. I have never counted the birds in our backyard but look forward to doing so next week.
Will you participate too? Grandma wants to know.