See a Bird, Count a Bird: Great Backyard Bird Count Starts Friday

Hoooooo dat? Barred owl in Jericho Forest

Okay, Weston, it’s time to put aside your snow shovels, and take out your binoculars–The Great Backyard Bird Count kicks off on Friday morning and it’s time for our Weston birds to be counted as part of the Bird Census. Don’t leave out our fine feathered friends! For four days, February 18-21, every single resident should just simply walk off the job and sit in the backyard looking at birds. Reading the Weston Owl does not count as seeing or hearing a Barred Owl, wise guys.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the annual bird count. Join the (virtual) global community of bird enthusiasts who will be in their favorite places watching, listening, and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them through a number of apps. You can watch the reports come in over the weekend on this page.

A light for every submitted report

Want in? Just commit to watching birds for 15 minutes or more at least once over the four days. Count all the birds you see or hear within your planned time/location and use the best tool for reporting your findings. Here are some ideas to make your participation the most valuable and fun to all:

  1. Sign up for the February 16 webinar Watching and Counting Birds is Fun: Tips for the Great Backyard Bird Count, by visiting this page. This facebook livestream (you do not need a personal Facebook account to join the webinar) will explain how it all works.
  2. If you have watched the little birdies before and know what is generally expected, just don’t forget to download the apps for participating, and brush-up on how to use the tools at the participate page before the count starts. Plus, everyone who enters one sighting via Merlin, or a 15+ minute checklist in eBird, will be automatically entered to win ZEISS Terra ED 8×42 binoculars!  
  3. Enjoy free access o the Cornell Lab’s groundbreaking Birds of the World online encyclopedia—starting February 16, through the end of the count. Use it to look up local birds, do some armchair birding, or enjoy the breathtaking diversity of the feathered world. Check out Birds of the World now
Red-bellied Woodpecker hanging on a tree.
Red-bellied Woodpecker by Brad Imhoff/Macaulay Library.

Some other ideas: enjoy the bird count with your family–kids are amazing spotters of tiny things. Head out to the woods in the evening and try to hear a barred owl or a great horned howl–this is a perfect season for owls looking for chicks (of both kinds–girlfriends and edibles). And keep your outdoor kitty inside, if you please…beheaded birds do not count as two birds. Is that graphic enough for you? No “go ‘cats” in this post.

Enjoy where you live, Weston! No one has a backyard like we have.

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