I Did It: The Great Backyard Bird Count

Do you like birds? I sure do. My love for birds started a little over a year ago. I am a homeschooling mom and I let my daughter help choose her curriculum since I want her to be interested in what we are studying. She chose a science program that focuses on flying creatures, and about half of the book focuses on birds. We learned about migration, the five types of feathers, the many different ways birds build nests, and so much more. Studying all of these topics really fostered a love for birds for both my daughter and me.  

Birds really are amazing and we love to go outside and watch them. We also like to see what different species we can spot in our yard and wherever we go. The feathered friends we see in the summer are a little different than the ones we see in the winter. For example, we love the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that we see throughout the spring and summer, but these little birds fly south when fall arrives. In the winter, we are now seeing Dark-Eyed Juncos.  

If you love birds or even have an interest in learning about birds, there is a really cool event coming up in February called The Great Backyard Bird Count. The National Audubon Society describes the count, which is from February 12 -15, 2016, as: “a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations.” Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard or anywhere in the world.

The National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology take all of the information submitted and use it to learn about the health and well-being of birds. This is very important since many people believe that birds really are the canaries of the coal mines. If birds are doing well, then ecosystems are doing well. If bird species are suffering, so is the environment.  

My daughter and I will be participating this year. For more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count, please check out an informational page on the National Audubon Society's website and the Great Backyard Bird Count's website.  

Photo Credit: Lor O.  

Written by: Paige L.