The Backyard Bird Count is happening

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 5:30pm
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The 22nd Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place from Friday, Feb. 15 through Monday, Feb. 18.

Volunteers from around the world are invited to count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at birdcount.org. Anyone with internet access can participate, no matter what their skill level — it’s a great family activity, too.

On Block Island the weekend will start with a GBBC tutorial. Meet Kim Gaffett at the Island Free Library on Friday, Feb. 15 at 11:30 a.m. and join her for a bird walk around town. The walk will be followed with a lunch-time gathering in the library to collectively record the sightings (checklists) from the walk in the GBBC eBird data system. During this exercise, participants will learn how to set up their own eBird account and participate – with the other 160,000 world-wide participants – in this citizen science activity from their own backyards (or other areas) throughout the weekend.

From the press documents provided by the official GBBC website:

“In the United States and Canada, 2019 bird lists are more likely to include sightings of winter finches and grosbeaks that are moving farther south than usual in what’s called an irruption. This type of movement is often sparked by poor cone, seed, and berry crops in parts of Canada.”

“This year is a very exciting one for backyard birders in the East, headlined by the largest evening grosbeak movement in at least two decades,” says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird program. “From Atlantic Canada to North Carolina, these colorful feeder visitors have been making a splash.”

“Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for all bird watchers to contribute to a global database of bird populations,” says Dr. Gary Langham, vice president and chief scientist for the National Audubon Society. “Participants in the Great Backyard Bird Count help scientists understand how things like climate change are impacting bird populations so we can better inform our conservation efforts.”

This global event provides an opportunity for bird watchers to contribute important bird population data that help scientists see changes that have occurred over the 22 years that GBBC has existed. Bird populations are dynamic. No single scientist could document and understand the vast distribution of species and their movements, both regionally and globally, without the contributions of citizen scientists — like you. For more information about this world-wide event go to birdcount.org; and for more information about the Block Island GBBC tutorial, call Kim Gaffett at (401) 595-7055.