Are You Ready? The 15th Great Backyard Bird Count starts February
17-20. You are invited to be part of a massive citizen-science effort
across North America. Tens of thousands of fellow bird watchers will be
counting birds and submitting their checklists to www.birdcount.org.
Just watch birds for at least 15 minutes at any location and tally the
highest number of each bird species you see at any one time. Submit a
new checklist for each day and each new location where you count.
Things You Can Do During the Countdown to the GBBC:
• Forward this message to neighbors, friends, and relatives, asking them to participate. Every checklist counts!
• Fill your bird feeders if you plan to count birds at your feeders.
• Charge up your camera batteries so you can capture that perfect picture for the GBBC photo contest, or document a rarity.
• If you'd like a preview of the birds you might see in your area, enter your zip or postal code on this web page to get printable tally sheets.
American Robin by Jean Hale, Massachusetts, 2011 GBBC
Things to Watch for During the GBBC
• In past counts, participants were most likely to report American
Robins in areas without snow. Will more robins be seen farther north
• Will some birds, such as Eastern Phoebes and geese, begin their
migrations earlier because of the warmer temperatures and lack of snow
or ice in many parts of the country?
• Fewer Blue Jays have been reported in the Northeast in recent months; will GBBC reports show the same trend?
• Where will the Snowy Owls turn up next?
Free Snowy Owl Info
Because the Snowy Owl irruption has captured so much attention in recent
months, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is providing free access to
comprehensive information about the species from Birds of North America Online, typically only available by subscription. See info
To learn more about Snowy Owl sightings, read the eBird article "The Winter of the Snowy Owl." Go
Snowy Owl by Kim Graham, Ohio, 2006 GBBC
Orange-crowned Warbler by Linda Alley, Texas, 2006 GBBC
Get the Picture
We’ll have a 2012 GBBC photo album set up so you can enjoy some of the
images that are uploaded for the annual photo contest. In recent years
we’ve been getting 6,000 to 7,000 images and have posted a few hundred