BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Nature lovers, amateur and expert bird watcher are invited to participate in the 19th edition of the Great Backyard Count. Grab your smartphone and head on over to your backyard or to the nearest park and start counting. The annual Great Backyard Count is on, and it is going to last from the 12th of February until the 15th of February.
On the President’s Day, everybody is eager to kick back their usual run-around-the-house habit for a session of R&R in the great outdoors. And how else could you enjoy a sunny Sunday afternoon, then kicking back your legs in a lounge chair, admiring the sky and enjoying the chilly February breeze? Well, you could try to count some birds.
The endeavor is not only therapeutic but scientific as well. The Great Backyard Count, an event hosted each year by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is somewhat of a citizen-based science project. This means that all the data and observations on the birds shared by citizens via an Internet connection is used by the scientists in order to make certain determinations regarding the number of birds from some species, things about their behavior and changes that took place during the winter.
Let’s take a closer look at what happened during last year’s bird count. According to a report from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, more than 140.000 people, from 100 countries, submitted their finding on the institute’s official page. Through their 15-minute observations, they were capable of cataloguing no less than half of the world’s birds. All in all, the bird aficionados managed to identify over 5000 species of birds, including some rare ones.
Also, 2015 in terms of bird watching proved to be a fruitful year indeed, because two new species of birds were identified. The birds in question are the Santa Marta screech-owl and the millpo tapaculo. According to the scientists in charge of this project, the two species of birds sighted by the bird watcher were not mentioned in any scientific journal.
In India, an amateur bird watcher managed to snap a few photos of the rare great hornbill. The same goes for Chile, were the rare Pincoya storm-petrel was sighted again.
All that you have to do in order to participate in this outdoor event is to watch and to observe. Based on your degree of implication in this project, you can spend each day 15 minutes or several hours noting down the species of bird you encountered.
Last, but not least, you can submit all your observations to the institute’s official web page.