Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Great Backyard Bird Count

In the past, I've described bird surveys, such as, the annual "Christmas Bird Count" or the "Spring Birdathon". In recent years, another annual "Citizen Science" project has taken hold, thanks to the dedicated folks at the Audubon Society and Cornell Lab or Ornithology.

The project, which was started in 1998, is called the "Great Backyard Bird Count". This is the description of the project from their website:

"The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds."

My backyard consists of a concrete surface at the intersection of four brick buildings. While I have seen a few unexpected bird species outside the kitchen window (usually hawks), Prospect Park has become my surrogate yard. I didn't think that a 426 acre urban park qualified as a backyard, so didn't participate. Maybe next year. Click here if you'd like to see the Brooklyn totals as of this morning. To see a list of participating states, click here.

2 comments:

Silversalty said...

Only loosely related but the other day I saw a gull (ring-billed) on the beach in Coney Island with large red tags on its wings. Checking the images and searching the web I found that a group in Massachusetts is trying to monitor the migration pattern of the gulls. The tagging was done in Worcester, MA. The range has extended to Maine, and Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.

http://www.mass.gov/dcr/waterSupply/watershed/study/index.htm

I've spotted gull "A42" a couple of times now though I didn't see any other tagged gulls.

Rob Jett said...

That's good to know, thanks for the link. I haven't seen any tagged RB Gulls yet, just collared Canada Geese.

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