Great Backyard Bird Count
You can be part of this annual citizen initiative.
Adult bald eagle perched at nest MR190/Audubon Florida Eagle Watch Program. [J.P. Leemans]
The 35th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) begins Friday, Feb. 17 and runs through Monday, Feb. 20. This is an opportunity to participate in a globally occurring citizen science event.
The GBBC has been done every year since 1988. It is a joint project of the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology (bird science) and the National Audubon Society. You do not have to be an ornithologist or an experienced birder to participate.
Here are some tips to get you started:
• On your cellphone: Download the Merlin bird ID app and the eBird mobile app. Marion Audubon Society has complete instructional videos for both apps on our YouTube channel. Make sure to add the “bird pack” for your region on both apps. Using both apps together is very helpful. Identify the birds with Merlin and list the birds on eBird. If you already have the apps on your phone, log-in to make sure that you have the most recent updates.
• Use eBird.org on your computer to enter your bird lists. You can make your list manually while out bird counting and enter it at home.
• So where do you go to count the birds? Anywhere! Your porch, patio, yard, local parks or at your bird feeders. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, Marion Audubon will lead a guided birding walk and count at Tuscawilla Park as a fundraiser for Rescuing Ocala Wildlife (ROW), the nonprofit organization that picks up injured and orphaned wildlife in our area and transports them to licensed rehabbers for care. Find more info at rowildlife.org
The Marion Audubon Society presents monthly educational programs via Zoom and many guided birding activities. You’ll find us on MeetUp and Facebook. We’d love to have you join us!
To learn more, go to marionaudubon.org