Looking for something romantic to do for Valentine's Day this year?
How about talking a nice romantic walk outside together?
Maybe with a pencil and paper..
while counting birds?
Okay, so the bird counting might or might not be your idea of romance, but this Valentine's Day is the start of this year's Great Backyard Bird Count!
Started in 1998 by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Great Backyard Bird Count occurs one weekend every February, and this year the count is on
February 14 - 17.
How to participate? Just count how many and what type of birds you see in a 15 minute chunk of time. Then sign up and log your results on the GBBC website - or, if you are a smart phone lover, there's even an free app for it!
|Count me! Count me!|
You can stay inside (and cuddle with your significant other!) and count the birds you see out the window, or you can go outside. You can count one day, or each day of the count. You can count for just 15 minutes, or you can count longer, as long as it is in 15 minute increments.
The data gathered in the Great Backyard Bird Count is very helpful in providing info about how bird populations are doing, if bird ranges are changing, and what habitats different birds live in. A big change in numbers of a bird population can indicate a change in their environment that needs to be looked at more closely.
Last year participants in 111 countries documented over 4,000 different species of birds for a grand total of over 33,000,000 birds. What a great amount of data!
|American Goldfinches enjoying one of the feeders after our last snow storm|
Not sure how to identify all of the birds you see? The Cornell Lab has a great website to help identify birds. And if you can't identify them all, that's okay, just report the ones you can.
|hmm... having trouble identifying this bird..|
So next weekend, consider giving the birds some love and making bird counting part of your Valentine plans...
though I must admit, my kids were a lot more excited about this activity than my husband :)
Happy bird counting!
the Great Backyard Bird Count website: birdcount.org
more about the Great Backyard Bird Count: gbbc.birdcount.org/about/