Its happening this weekend: the 2011 Great Backyard Bird Count. And you can join in this fun citizen science project as well. I will miss doing it in our new backyard in Fresno, unfortunately, because I will be attending the AAAS meeting in Washington, DC this weekend - although I may try to do a count there if possible. Besides, my partner in last year's count is in India with her mum and sister, so how could I do it in our backyard by myself? Check out our report, with pictures, from last year's GBBC. And do drop me a line here if you decide to do a count.
Here's an excerpt from the GBBC press release:
February 8, 2011—Blackbirds made the headlines when a flock of thousands fell from the skies in Arkansas on New Year’s Eve. Now bird enthusiasts across the continent are counting the birds—not just blackbirds, but birds of more than 600 species—in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. During February 18–21 the event will create an instantaneous snapshot of birdlife across the U.S. and Canada for all to see.
Anyone can help by tallying birds for at least 15 minutes on any day of the count. At www.birdcount.org, you can enter the highest number of each species seen at any one time and watch as the tallies grow across the continent. Coordinated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Bird Studies Canada, the four-day count typically records more than 10 million observations.
Last year’s participants reported more than 1.8 million American Robins, as well as rarities such as the first Red-billed Tropicbird in the count’s 13-year history.