Help scientists get a better picture of bird populations and migrations by participating here in Los Angeles in the 17th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), organized annually by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Last year amateur bird-watchers in 111 countries helped record online over 34.5 million birds of 3,610 different species – 1/3 of the world’s total bird species! The GBBC engages “the whole world in creating a detailed annual snapshot of how all our planet’s birds are faring . . . ,” says Cornell Lab director, Dr. John Fitzpatrick. Population trends are documented, for instance, if the American Crow has rebounded after being hit hard by the West Nile virus, or if invasive birds, like the Eurasian Collared-Dove, have expanded their range.
Participation is simple. First register at www.BirdCount.org, then just spend a minimum of 15 minutes over the three day period noting what birds your family sees in your yard or neighborhood. Your submission notes can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. A checklist of common local species is provided on the website as a help. Tips are also given to help your identify tricky species like doves and sparrows. Take it a step further and enter the photo contest, or watch on the website map what other bird-spotters are finding in your area. They even have iPhone and Android apps to allow you to enter your data via smartphone!
See the GBBC website for more information.