Gibbon, NE (Feb. 7, 2018) – The 21st annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is taking place February 16 to 19 in communities across the globe – in backyards, parks, nature centers, on hiking trails, school grounds, balconies and beaches—anywhere you find birds.
Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary will be hosting an opportunity to learn about and assist with the Great Backyard Bird Count on Sunday, February 18th during Visitor Center hours from 8:00am – 5:30pm. Visitors of all ages and birding abilities are invited to come and go as they please. While contributing to the Count, Audubon staff will be available to answer questions about the GBBC and eBird.org, bird watching and identification, and winter bird feeding. Hot coffee and
refreshments will be provided.
The Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary provides a warm and comfortable setting for winter bird watching.
On a cold and blustery day, participants in last year’s count saw a variety of winter birds including Bald Eagles and early migrating Sandhill Cranes.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature. Participation is free and easy. Bird watchers count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at birdcount.org. All the data contributes to a snapshot of bird distribution and help scientists see changes over the past 20 years. Bird watchers from over 100 countries participated in last year’s count,
documenting over 5,900 species—more than half the known bird species in the world– on more than 173,000 bird checklists.
In addition to bird observations each year photographers submit thousands of photos of birds from their communities as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count photo contest. Members of the public are encouraged to submit their own bird photos taken during the count period as well as to explore the great photos submitted from around the world each year.
“The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way to introduce people to participation in community science,” says Audubon’s chief scientist Gary Langham. “No other program allows volunteers to take an instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations that can contribute to our understanding of how a changing climate is affecting birds.”