The annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) starts today. People from all over the world will record the birds they see in their backyards or anywhere (parks, school yards, hiking trails, snowmobile trails, work. etc) over the next four days. All a participant has to do is count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days at one site during February 15-18, 2019 and submit the info to GBBC.
How to get Started
If you’re a first time counter, get started by registering here or if you’re already registered, sign in here. You can upload your count(s) to the GBBC website using your computer or the eBird Mobile Application.
There’s also a photo contest as part of the count. Here are the rules.
Formally started in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, last year a record 6,456 types of birds were reported through the GBBC– nearly half of all known species in the world. The reports are used by scientists to track things like population numbers and cycles. ‘The effect of weather on migrations and how diseases such as the West Nile virus affect birds in different regions. ‘And differences in bird diversity between cities, suburban, rural and natural areas.
Explore what others are seeing in your area or around the world by going to the map showing current GBBC/eBird Submissions
Other Tracking Programs
There are many tracking programs for many different elements of our ecosystems now readily available because of the Internet. Here are some others in which you might be interested.
The North american Butterfly Monitoring Network (major list of a variety of monitoring programs)