Published: Thu, February 16, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Great Backyard Bird Count to begin on February 17

Great Backyard Bird Count to begin on February 17

Audubon members also will provide information on how to conduct a count from anywhere in the area during the four-day bird count, which runs from Friday to Monday.

This is a global event and those interested in participating in the programme could go birding for at least 15 minutes, list and count all the species that they see and upload the list in eBird ( on any of the four days or on all days. Volunteers participating in GBBC help track changes in bird populations at a scale that scientists can't achieve alone.

Learn about Audubon and the Great Backyard Bird Count in the video above and check out the challenge in the video below!

"The very first GBBC was an experiment", said the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird program. In India, it is coordinated with the help of an organisation "Bird Count".

A 2014 National Audubon study on climate science found that out of 588 bird species studied in North America, 314 are severely threatened by climate change - the increase in weather extremes and the warming of the earth from the burning of fossil fuels. North Carolina birders documented 200 species during the GBBC past year turning in 5,521 checklists. If that changes, these birds could move southward.

Luckier participants may catch sight of a pine siskin, common redpoll, red-breasted nuthatch or evening grosbeak.

Anyone can take part, from beginning bird watchers to experts. We can't predict what winter 2017 will bring, because Snowy Owl populations are so closely tied to unpredictable "cycles" of lemmings in the Arctic.

And there's a photo contest, as well.

For the 20th anniversary of the GBBC, the public is invited to vote for their favorite top photo from each of the past 11 years in a special album they will find on the GBBC website home page. This worldwide event will take place February 17 - 20.

GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, with partner Bird Studies Canada.

Birders are welcome to submit a checklist for any or all of the days during the count from a number of locations - so those who can't make it to Saturday's event may participate from their own backyards.

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