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Go Birdwatching Over February Break For The Annual Great Backyard Bird Count

President's Day is coming up, and next week, many schools will be closed for a mid-winter recess. Looking for a fun and free activity you and your kids can enjoy? Participate in the 20th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, a worldwide survey of birds: February 17-20, 2017.

What Is The Great Backyard Bird Count?

The Great Backyard Bird Count launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. It was initially viewed as an experiment to see whether or not people would use the Internet to record their bird sightings over a specific period of time.

The first bird count was a huge success, and today, more than 160,000 people around the world help create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds. Just last year, 5,689 bird species were counted by people in over 130 countries.

What Do I Need To Do?

Participating in the bird count is simple. From February 17-20, 2017, all you need to do is count the number and kinds of birds that you see. You can count from your own backyard, a local park, or any other location in the world.

The suggested length of time to count birds is at least 15 minutes on one or more of the four days, but you can do it for as long as you'd like.

To contribute to the worldwide survey, you must register online (unless you've participated in the past). Registration is completely free, and once you have an account, the next step is to count birds and create separate checklists.

You should make a checklist for each new day, each new spot, or if you count in the same location at two different times during the day. Do your best to estimate the number of birds of each species you see.

After you've filled out the checklists, you can submit your observations to the Great Backyard Bird Count website. Or, you can download the free eBird mobile app and enter the data via a mobile device.

That's not all! You can also upload photos and audio to your checklists and submit them as well. In addition, there is an option to submit your images in the photo contest. Prizes will be awarded to the top winners in six categories.

Sound like fun? Register today and get ready for the start of the Great Backyard Bird Count!


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