Big Bear Lake, CA, February 15, 2013 - Local bird watchers of any skill level can participate online in annual citizen-science research this weekend. Participants in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) simply watch birds at any location for at least 15 minutes, tally the numbers of each species they see, and report their tallies online at www.BirdCount.org. The GBBC lasts through Monday, February 18 and is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon, with Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada.
There are hundreds of bird species in the San Bernardino Mountains, including pelicans, red-shafted flickers, bald eagles, wild turkey, violet-green swallows, hawks, yellow-rumped warblers, quail, chickadees, woodpeckers, warblers, lesser goldfinches and a variety of ducks.
This year, anyone visiting the GBBC website will be able to see bird observations pouring in from around the world and contribute their own tallies. Global participation will be made possible thanks toeBird, a real-time online checklist program that the Cornell Lab and Audubon are integrating into the GBBC for the first time this year. The four-day count typically receives sightings from tens of thousands of people reporting more than 600 bird species in the United States and Canada alone.
Participants will be able to view what others are seeing on interactive maps and contribute their tallies for ongoing bird research and conservation efforts. For the first time, participants will also be able to upload their counts from the field using the eBird BirdLog app for Apple or Android smartphones. To celebrate the new global reach of the count, developers of the eBird BirdLog app are offering regional versions of the app for 99 cents this weekend.
Cornell Lab director John Fitzpatrick said, “We’re looking forward to this historic snapshot of birds that that will be reported from around the world. We need as many people as possible to help build the wealth of data that scientists need to track the health of bird populations through time.”
The Great Backyard Bird Count is made possible in part by sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.