Friday, February 22, 2008

Counting the Birds

As most birders know, last weekend was the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). I reserved a few hours of last Saturday to count some birds around my yard. While I witnessed several varieties of birds throughout the day, the most abundant in my backyard were the American Goldfinches. They have been very active around my area lately. Here are a couple of pictures I took of them from inside the house—

I took these pictures through my window and screen, so I lost a little image quality. I thought about taking the screen out of the window but then realized that may be bad for the birds health, if you know what I mean (window strikes that is…). Here is one that landed on the window screen; he seems to be curious about what’s going on inside the house—

I also had a lot of American Robins in my yard. There seems to be a lot of them coming thru my area lately. A sign that spring is just around the corner!!

Now that the bird count is over I thought I would check out some results at the GBBC website. After a few minutes of browsing the site, I became blown away with the amount of data that was made available. Not only were there statistics for your state, but detailed statistics of your city or county that included the number of checklist reported and the number and type of bird reported. For example, one of the birds I spotted was a pine warbler. After viewing the stats for my city, there was only one other person that reported seeing a pine warbler in my area. When you look at it like that, you kind of feel like your contribution made a difference. Go ahead and look up your state and city; you may be surprised to see what kind of birds were reported in your area.

Along with all the stats, there is a photo gallery with some great pictures in it, as well as a video gallery. They also have an interesting blog that includes news and notes from behind the scenes at the Great Backyard Bird Count. As you can tell, I spent some time there today! I usually go to the site each year to view the overall stats, but never really paid close attention to all it had to offer until recently.

Currently, they are still collecting data. Here are the latest statistics:
Statistics from 2008
Total Checklists Submitted: 76,393
Total Species Observed: 640
Total Individual Birds Counted: 8,809,748
Updated: February 22, 2008 10:15:09 PM EST


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Mary said...

Hi Alan,

I participated in the GBBC for the first time last week. Wow. I was amazed at the number of reports submitted in my county. That's a powerful database and worth seeing!

Goldfinches are great. I still have quite a few but not as many as 6 months ago. Thanks for sharing some pretty birds! Good photos!