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.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Great Backyard Bird Count Begins

GBBC eNewsletter

Blue Jay by Marie Lehmann, Florida, 2011 GBBC
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 this year?
• 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 of them during the count. Be sure to read over the photo contest rules and terms of use before submitting your entry.
Visit Wild Birds Unlimited, a sponsor of the Great Backyard Bird Count!
Keep up with us on Facebook and join the flock! 

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