Just the other day I received an email from the Audubon Society (as many other birders did) with a reminder of the 2009 Great Backyard Bird Count. For those not aware, the GBBC is a citizen science project that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds. Anyone can participate in this 4-day event. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. I have participated for the last few years and it has been a lot of fun. The details from the email are as follows:
The 2009 Great Backyard Bird Count takes place February 13-16, 2009. The National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology are calling on everyone to “Count for Fun, Count for the Future!” Participants did just that in record numbers for the 2008 count, submitting more than 85,000 checklists and identifying 635 species.
GBBC Ambassadors Needed
As always, we rely on volunteer ambassadors to help spread the word about the GBBC and engage more people in their communities. Your contribution could be as simple as hanging up a few flyers or as ambitious as pitching the event on local radio and TV stations. You can use the new GBBC news release posted on the web site. You’ll also find an updated version of the slide show for use in GBBC workshops and other events.
For more ideas on how to promote the GBBC, check out Get Involved on the GBBC website. You can fill out the online ambassador sign-up form and specify the kinds of activities you’d like to do.
Project FeederWatch Season Begins
The 2008-09 season of Project FeederWatch began this Saturday, November 8. You can sign up at any time. FeederWatchers keep track of their birds through the winter and report their tallies each week.
Watching birds benefits science, but it can also be a healthy part of your routine. Hundreds of studies have verified that time spent watching nature can reduce stress. So why not slow down and watch the birds?
Visit the PFW web site to learn more and to sign up. New participants receive a kit with a handbook, a bird-identification poster, calendar, and instruction booklet. There is a $15 fee ($12 for Lab members.) If you live in Canada, please visit our partner, Bird Studies Canada, or call (888) 448-2473.
Take the Healthy Yard Pledge!
While you’re getting ready to feed and count birds this winter, make sure you’re maintaining healthy bird habitat in your yard by taking the Audubon Healthy Yard Pledge.
The Healthy Yard Pledge is part of Audubon At Home, which focuses on managing backyards and other natural areas to help birds and other wildlife. Visit the website to learn about 16 key elements that make up a healthy backyard habitat—how many can be found in your yard?
To learn more about the Audubon at Home program and take the Healthy Yard Pledge, visit http://audubonathome.org/pledge.