Join the Great Backyard Bird Count February 12-15, 2010

Bird watchers coast to coast are invited to take part in the 13th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, Friday, February 12, through Monday, February 15, 2010.  Participants in the free event will join tens of thousands of volunteers counting birds in their own backyards, local parks or wildlife refuges.

Each checklist submitted by these “citizen scientists” helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, <http://www.birds.cornell.edu/> the National Audubon Society <http://www.audubon.org/>  , and Bird Studies Canada <http://www.bsc-eoc.org/>  learn more about how the birds are doing—and how to protect them. Last year, participants turned in more than 93,600 checklists online, creating the continent’s largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded.

Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from novice bird watchers to experts. Participants count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the event and report their sightings online at www.birdcount.org <http://www.birdcount.org/> . One 2009 participant said, “Thank you for the opportunity to participate in citizen science. I have had my eyes opened to a whole new interest and I love it!”

On the www.birdcount.org <http://www.birdcount.org/> website, participants can explore real-time maps and charts that show what others are reporting during the count. The site has tips to help identify birds and special materials for educators. Participants may also enter the GBBC photo contest by uploading images taken during the count. Many images will be featured in the GBBC website’s photo gallery. All participants are entered in a drawing for prizes that include bird feeders, binoculars, books, CDs, and many other great birding products.

For more information about the GBBC, visit the website at www.birdcount.org <http://www.birdcount.org/> . Or contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at (800) 843-2473, gbbc@cornell.edu, or Audubon at (202) 861-2242 ext 3050, citizenscience@audubon.org. <mailto:citizenscience@audubon.org> In Canada, participants may contact Bird Studies Canada at 1- (888)- 448-2473 ext. 134 or gbbc@birdscanada.org. <mailto:gbbc@birdscanada.org>

The Great Backyard Bird Count is made possible, in part, by generous support from Wild Birds Unlimited <http://www.wbu.com/> .

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit membership institution interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s website at www.birds.cornell.edu. <http://www.birds.cornell.edu/>

Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in conservation. www.audubon.org <http://www.audubon.org/>

Bird Studies Canada (www.birdscanada.org <http://www.bsc-eoc.org/> ) administers regional, national, and international research and monitoring programs that advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats. We are Canada’s national body for bird conservation and science, and we are a non-governmental charitable organization.

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