This year's Great Backyard Bird Count starts next Friday, February 12, and runs until February 15.
What is the Great Backyard Bird Count? Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days, people spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations. No matter what corner of the world you live in or visit, they want to hear from you!
Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online citizen science project (also referred to as community science) to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real time. Birds Canada joined the project in 2009 to provide an expanded capacity to support participation in Canada. In 2013, we became a global project when we began entering data into eBird, the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project. Participation has increased steadily each year, as more people of all ages around the world spend their weekend counting, learning about, and celebrating birds. Their website has annual results highlighting the data and trends from the Great Backyard Bird Counts.
Participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way to learn more about the world around us, and get in touch with nature. Participating is easy, fun to do alone, or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds. There are multiple ways to keep track of the birds you see. Learn how to participate in the GBBC here.
If you want to participate with kids, our Ice Age Trail Explorer backpack kit has many useful birding supplies, including binoculars and a pocket guide to birds. Click the link to reserve the kit!
February's teen take-home craft kit includes supplies and instructions to make birdseed cookie winter bird feeders. Kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and are totally free while supplies last. If you don't make it to the library in time, or you would like to try the project using supplies you have at home, the instructions will be available on the Teens page of our website.
Prepare for your bird observations with bird books from the library! Bird books can be found under 598 in the Dewey Decimal System - we have books in the children's section, upstairs in the adult nonfiction, and available for all ages in ebook format from Wisconsin's Digital Library. Use that link to browse the collection, or download the Libby app! Some books may be out on display, so check out our physical displays, too!
If you choose to participate in this year's Great Backyard Bird Count, let us know! We'd love to hear how it goes. Happy birding!