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Great Backyard Bird Count 2022


If you enjoy nature, consider getting involved with a citizen science project. You will learn more about nature and at the same time help scientists collect important information. Citizen scientists are helping monitor the water quality of lakes, rivers, and streams, monarch butterfly migrations, snowpack in the mountains, and reptile and amphibian populations and movements, to name a few.

One of the more popular citizen science efforts is the Great Backyard Bird Count. Now in its twenty-fifth year, the count is coming up next weekend, February 18-21. It is an effort between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, and Birds Canada to help scientists better understand the population dynamics and movements of birds during the winter. New as well as experienced birders are encouraged to participate. You can work alone or in a group, and it can involve kids as well as adults. You just count birds you observe for at least 15 minutes for as many of the days as you like. Count the greatest number of individuals of each species you see together at any one time. Then submit your results. You can count the birds anywhere and anytime, and many participants submit several checklists throughout the four days. All participants get a chance to win a pair of Zeiss binoculars.

All the necessary information for participating is on the Great Backyard Bird Count website. The website also contains a wealth of information on birds and birding. And if you are rather new at birding, it may help you to download the Merlin Bird ID app. It is a free app to help in bird identification and allows you to save your sightings. If you are already using eBird to track your birding activity, a free eBird Mobile app is a fast way to enter your bird lists directly from your cell phone. There is also a free webinar coming up on February 16 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time on bird identification and other related aspects of birding.

So, consider participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. It is fun, and the information you provide will help scientists better understand the population dynamics and movements of our birds.

Chuck Lura has a broad knowledge of “Natural North Dakota” and loves sharing that knowledge with others. Since 2005 he has written a weekly column, “Naturalist at Large,” for North Dakota’s newest newspaper, the Lake Metigoshe Mirror. His columns also appear under “The Naturalist” in several other weekly newspapers across North Dakota.
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