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Great Backyard Bird Count readies for 22nd year

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual four-day citizen science event that engages bird watchers of all ages and skill levels in counting birds. Now in its 22nd year, the GBBC was founded by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. This free event, Friday, February 15 through Monday, February 18, is an opportunity for families, students, and people of all ages to discover the wonders of nature in backyards, schoolyards, and local parks while making an important contribution to conservation.

Participants count birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, and then enter their checklists at Volunteers can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as they wish. During the count, participants can explore online what others are seeing in their area or around the world.

All observations are important because no single scientist or team of scientists could hope to capture so much information about birds around the world in only four days. In 2018, GBBC participants in more than 100 countries submitted more than 180,000 bird checklists reporting a record 6,456 species – more than half the known bird species in the world.

Every reported GBBC sighting becomes part of a permanent record that anyone with Internet access can explore. The information can be used to track migration patterns and year-to-year changes in the abundance and distribution of birds, and to learn about the complex patterns of bird movements.

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