The Great Backyard Bird Count

It's easy to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb. 13-16.

Have there been more or fewer birds at your backyard feeders this winter? Did you see some species that hadn't visited you before? Why not participate in this year's Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) and help scientists learn more about the distribution and movement of bird species around the country?

This will be the 12th year for the GBBC, which is jointly sponsored by  the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and  will take place Feb. 13-16, Friday through Monday.

In 2008, bird-watchers -- including many rank amateurs -- reported more than 9.8 million birds of 635 species. (Want to guess the most frequently reported species? Answer at the end.)

It's easy for anyone -- even kids (maybe with a bit of adult help) to take part. All that's asked is for participants to count the birds for at least 15 minutes on at least one of the four days (you can do it longer and on multiple days, if you want.)

Keep a checklist for each day you counted the birds in your neighborhood and submit it anytime from Friday evening, Feb. 13, until March 1.

Learn all you need to know at these websites for the GBB.

OK, here's the answer to the question asked earlier about what bird was reported most frequently in 2008: the cardinal. No. 2 was the mourning dove. However, the two most numerous birds were the snow goose and the Canada goose.

(NOTE: We invite you to visit the main page of the Monitor’s gardening site , where you can find many articles, essays, and blog posts on various garden topics.)

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