Walking outdoors in nature or just looking out your window and observing birds is a great stress-reducer. On February 17 through 20, 2017, you have a good excuse for gazing out the window: you are a citizen scientist in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count!
The Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. You can see data and photos from last year’s GBBC on the webpage.
More than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide joined the four-day count last February. The reason the count is conducted in February is to get a snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds before annual migration begins in March.
Here’s how to participate: For at least fifteen minutes on one or more days of the count, February 17-20, 2017, simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see. You can count from any location, outdoors or just looking out your window, for as long as you wish!
UPDATE: Here are the results of this year’s Great Backyard Bird Count, in which more than 200,000 people world-wide sent in their checklists! The State of Washington ranked high among participants although bad weather in general on the West Coast reduced the number of participants slightly this year.