Participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count requires no expertise. Participants count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the event and report their sightings online. It's easy, free and fun.
Results are updated hourly on animated maps and colorful graphs for all to view. This near-instant feedback allows participants to see how their observations fit into the continental perspective. Results from previous GBBCs also are available online.
Introducing young children to the GBBC is a great way to teach patience, colors, counting and the importance of following directions. After submitting results, counters can instantly see how their results contribute to the continentwide effort. The immediate feedback helps them understand that they have indeed become citizen scientists.
To see some of the best photos submitted from past GBBCs, visit www.birdsource.org/gbbc/gallery. The GBBC website also includes a variety of other useful birding information -- vocabulary, photos, birdwatching tips and vocalizations.
In addition to results, the GBBC website includes a variety of other useful birding information -- vocabulary, photos, birdwatching and bird feeding tips and vocalizations. It's a valuable resource for all birders, especially students.
The GBBC is a terrific way to contribute to a better understanding of birds. For information about the GBBC or the Lab of Ornithology, contact the Lab at 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, www.birdcount.org, or call 800-843-2473.
Send questions and comments to Dr. Scott Shalaway, RD 5, Cameron, WV 26033 or via my website, http://scottshalaway.googlepages.com.