Get ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count

By Patrick Lynn

Coming mid-February, the Great Backyard Bird Count is a fun, easy way to help birds by creating a real-time snapshot of bird populations anywhere you are.

The Department of Natural Resources is asking the public to simply watch birds for as little as 15 minutes—or as long as they’d like—on one or more days during the four-day event, Feb. 17-20.

Residents who participate should record the bird they see and hear at their respective locations and submit them at birdcount.org.

For those newer to birding, the site has resources to help you learn more about birds, including a smartphone app to help identify species.

Anyone can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, which was launched in 1998 and recently saw more than 300,000 people submit their observations.

Information collected during the annual event helps researchers at the National Audubon Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada learn more about how birds are doing to, so these organizations can better protect them and their habitats.