About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Photo Share: Preparing for the big #GBBC day!

Pics from Eagle, MI contributed by Mickey
Are you ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)? Don't worry if you don't know all your birds. Everyone can participate. It doesn't matter if you live in the city or country, feed birds or not, are an expert birder or just a casual observer.

It's super fun, super easy, and a great opportunity for young and old to connect with nature and participate in a huge science project.  It just takes a minimum of 15 minutes of observation. (See How to Participate.)
The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4-day event during of February 13-16, 2015 that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of the bird population.

You may find it helpful to print a regional tally sheet so you have a list of birds you’re likely to see in your area in February. Get it here: http://gbbc.birdsource.org/gbbcApps/checklist or you can find Michigan’s most common backyard birds at http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2011/10/most-common-winter-birds-in-michigan.html
How's it work:
  • WATCH: Count birds at any location for at least 15 minutes—or more if you wish. You can be at a park or looking out your office window.
Pics from Eagle, MI contributed by Mickey
  • TALLY: Write down only the highest number of each species you see at any one time to avoid counting the same birds more than once. For example, if you see 8 cardinals as you start your count period, then later you see 12, and later still you see 3, you’ll only report 12--the highest number you saw together at once. Please do not add the numbers together.  
  • SUBMIT: Go online to submit your data. It’s OK if you count at the same location each day—submit a new list for each day. Submit a new checklist for each new location. You can submit more than one checklist on a given day if you count at more than one site. They will ask you the level of your bird identification skills and whether you are reporting all the birds or just the ones you recognized. It’s simple!
Where to enter checklists:
Enter your results on the GBBC website by clicking “Submit Observations” on the home page. Or download the free GBBC BirdLog app to enter data on a mobile device.

There are answers to many other questions in the FAQ section! 

Bird watchers worldwide can take part this year. Make sure to pass this information out to all your friends and family. Thank you for joining the Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored in part by Wild Birds Unlimited. And if anyone else would like to share a photograph of nature send it to bloubird@gmail.com.

Related Articles:
Why is it Important to Count Birds? http://goo.gl/rC1qS
1-2-3, How Many Birds Do You See? http://bit.ly/z3EOrM
Book Recommendations for Michigan Birdwatchers http://bit.ly/x5t2gv
Most common winter birds in Michigan http://bit.ly/ywWdfL

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