07 February 2011
Great Backyard Bird Count!
I just found out that the Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up in 11 days. It's running from Feb 18-21, 2011. The basic idea is to get citizen scientists out to observe birds for at least 15 minutes during at least one of the days it's running, and to catalog the numbers and species of birds observed during those times. This will help ornithologists track patterns in bird species distributions and has the added bonus of getting people out in nature to look at birds. Want to find out more? Here's how to participate, and here's where you can find out about local GBBC events in your area. There's also a photo contest associated with the GBBC, so if you're the camera-toting type be sure to check that out too!
I'm hoping to do some birding with Doodle and Roo in our yard, and if the weather cooperates we may make it out to the nearby marsh for a little birding variety. Here are some great tips for birdwatching with kids from the Go Explore blog, and here are some activities and tips from the GBBC kids page.
On a related note, I added another bird to my yard list today: a juvenile Northern Goshawk! It's another Accipiter species, and obviously different from the unidentified Coopers/Sharpie I saw previously. This one had a very obvious speckly back (like this) as well as a white supercilial (above the eye) and absent hooded/capped appearance. It sat perched in our neighbors' tree for hours this afternoon, obviously watching some of the feeder birds in the area. I didn't see it leave, but I hope to see it again.