The Great Backyard Bird Count

This Weekend, February 15th - 18th is the annual Great Backyard Bird Count! What is the Great Backyard Bird Count? Well, read on to find out.

What is it?

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual 4-day long citizen science project that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are.

Why Count the Birds?

Birds are among the most abundant and conspicuous vertebrate organisms, over 440 species are frequently observed in Massachusetts alone! But, these populations are dynamic, some species may be increasing in number, others decreasing, others moving further north, south, east, or west. Tracking the changes in so many different bird populations is too big a project for even the most accomplished scientist to undertake. That’s why scientists look to citizen scientists like you to help them collect important data.

Scientists use data from citizen science projects such as the GBBC, The Christmas Bird Count, The Breeding Bird Survey, and Project Feeder Watch to get a more thorough understanding of bird populations at a broad big picture scale. By collecting these data year after year scientists can research important questions, such as how birds are responding to climate change, or the impact of expanding urban areas.

How Can I Participate?

Being a citizen scientist participant with the GBBC is as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Create a GBBC account here.
2. Count birds in your backyard (or anywhere else, backyard is a general term) for at least 15 minutes. You can count on just one day, or everyday of the project.
3. Enter what you saw on the GBBC website. Click on the "Submit your checklists!" button to enter your data. Be sure you include where you counted, how long you counted, the date/time, and all of the birds you observed.

Its that easy!

Whether you are a seasoned bird watcher, or if you've never paid attention to them before, your help is valuable. Get out there this weekend and participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count and tell us about it on our Facebook page, or on twitter @GndwkLawrence!

Coming soon this spring Groundwork will be hosting a Celebrate Urban Birds Event where we will learn about urban birds, improve bird habitat, and do our own citizen science bird surveys, so keep your eyes and ears open for more information!

Some information you might find helpful:
The Top-10 Most Common GBBC Birds
Cornell Lab of Ornithology Online Bird Guide
Celebrate Urban Birds!
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