Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Great Backyard Bird Count 2015

Get those binoculars polished-up, the Great Backyard Bird Count beings Friday.
The GBBC is a worldwide event with activities for very young children, as well as experienced birders. For younger children, it helps to print off the checklists and work in short intervals. Fifteen minutes is about all a five year old will put up with, but they learn the discipline of sitting and observing something quietly. As February in Nebraska is often quite cold, Danny spent many GBBC's observing the birds from a window overlooking the windbreak. It didn't diminish his enjoyment watching from inside, so don't feel obligated to find an outdoor spot.

With beginning birders you may wish to print off the checklists rather than have them enter the sightings in real time-just to avoid any emails questioning whether you did indeed have fifty magpies in your yard (to a small child let loose with a bird guide it can be hard to tell a grackle from a magpie)! If you DO have fifty magpies in your yard, you should post it immediately-but be prepared for a number of curious birders coming to have a look.

If you find the GBBC is your sort of thing, there's a link to ebird.org on the site, which is a year-round citisen science project.


Bibi said...

Yay! Goody's on the mend!
Sorry you had to go through such misery. I always admired your chipper & lively demeanor despite your health issues.
Took a look at ebird & the lake we live by is one of the hotspots in the world for birding. I shouldn't be too surprised as my sons & I went on a British birding expedition around 5 yrs ago to the Chitwan National Park. (Chitwan is on the southern side of Nepal & sort of a swampy forested 'delta' where water drains from the central Himalayas onto the plains of India.) Anywho, one of the most interesting facts our famed British birding guide enlightened us with was the fact that at any given time 10% of the world's birds are in the Himalayas - not just the natives but migratory passersby. The Himalayas are a major migratory stop for birds as far away as Siberia & western Europe.

Goody said...

Yes, you're in a good location for birding! Do you get cranes? They're fun to see.

Large migrations are really something to witness. Loud, but impressive. Danny says the migratory water fowl sound like a stadium filled with football fans, from a distance. I'd never have thought of it that way, but he's right.

Bibi said...

Yes, we have cranes, storks, & herons. It is interesting that we don't see HUGE migrations here in the Himalayas like I used to see in California. You're more likely to see small flocks of 10 - 20 birds (especially larger species) either stopping in transit going further north or south or sticking around to nest. You'll also see birds that come down from higher elevations in the mountains to the tropical valleys here to over winter.