Birds in your backyard

People of all ages can help track bird populations in this year's Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), Feb. 16-19, 2001.

A project of the Cornell Ornithology Laboratory and the National Audubon Society, the GBBC asks families, individuals, classes, and community groups to record the numbers and kinds of birds that visit their feeders, local parks, schoolyards, and other areas during any of the four days.

Participants then enter their observations at the BirdSource website, www.birdsource.org.

"We're asking everyone, everywhere in North America, to take a few minutes to tell us what birds they see," says John Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell lab. "[This] can serve as the SOS. signal for species that may be in trouble." GBBC 2001 will put the spotlight on woodpeckers and quail, frequent and easy-to-identify backyard visitors with shrinking populations.

To participate, count the highest number of each bird species seen at your location at one time, and keep track of the amount of time you spend counting. Log on to www.birdsource.org and click on your state or province to fill in a checklist of the most frequently reported birds in your region.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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