PRATT – Anyone who enjoys feeding and watching birds can help with conservation by just doing what they already do. On February 17-20, 2017, bird lovers are asked to watch and record the kinds and numbers of birds seen during the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). The annual four-day event engages bird watchers of all skill levels in counting birds from any location for as little as 15 minutes on one or more days of the event.
Last year, participants in more than 130 countries counted 5,689 species of birds on more than 160,000 checklists. But the event could be much bigger. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, more than 70 million Americans watch birds, 450,000 in Kansas. Bird watchers can learn more about GBBC and report their sightings online at www.birdcount.org.
It’s free, fun and participants can feel good about playing an important role in the management and conservation of numerous bird species. Each submitted checklist provides valuable data to researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, as well as experts in other conservation organizations, who interpret those results to learn more about how birds are doing and how we can better protect them and their habitats.