Leave a Comment

Science is often at its most accessible when it can be accomplished in the backyard, which is why the Great Backyard Bird Count is one of the coolest events throughout the year. Yesterday, the Great Backyard Bird Count kicked off its 16th annual event and if you want to participate, it may be easier than you would think.

The GBBC runs for four days, through February 18. Getting involved is easy. According to the event’s site, all you have to do is prepare to submit a bird checklist. This involves creating an account over at the GBBC site, which will allow your bird watching information to be placed into a worldwide bird date collection. Then, the GBBC asks that participants count birds for at least 15 minutes before submitting a bird checklist via the GBBC website. However, if you are super down with counting birds, you can do so on multiple days or for longer than 15 minutes.

If you’ve ever wondered what, exactly, that bird counting does, the joint venture between The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Bird Studies Canada tries to keep tabs on various bird populations in the world. Collecting data on how bird populations have changed and are changing can totally help scientist to understand the larger picture when it comes to birds and quite frankly, it doesn’t take much from the average member of the populace to participate. If you have 15 minutes and the ability to identify different bird species, there’s no reason not to get out a pen and pencil and get counting.

Photo [email protected] Black, OH via the 2012 GBBC