Monday, February 05, 2007

Great Backyard Bird Count 2007

The 10th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count is just around the corner.

Over four days, February 16-19 2007, people across North America will count birds in parks, refuges, city streets and backyards to create a snapshot of avian populations and biodiversity.

Typically, 75 % of all North American bird species migrate. But last year, warm weather caused some birds to skip their normal winter travel. Still other species were recorded further north than usual. Species like the California towhee, pictured, are found only in regional locations. If volunteers don't count in southern California, there is no record of these birds. While some birds like the American goldfinch showed increases across the country, others like the American crow recorded another year of decline. All of this information was captured by Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) observers.

The Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and Audubon host this annual event to collect important scientific data. Birds are travelers and their movement can tell us a great deal about the effects of climate change, urbanization and conservation efforts. GBBC is the perfect family outing, scout or youth project or a way to enjoy your backyard and contribute to important biological science.

Counting birds for GBBC is fun and easy.

To Count on Your Own:
Visit the Great Backyard Bird Count website for simple instructions and information. (

To Count with a Group:
  • The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens will be hosting two Bird Walks in conjunction with GBBC. Wed. Feb. 14 and Sat. Feb. 17, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM Both Bird Walks are open to Zoo members free of charge. The Wed. Bird Walk will teach you how to count so you can count on your own over the weekend. While on the Saturday Bird Walk you will be helping Zoo Docents complete a count of wild birds on Zoo grounds. Reservations are required for both walks. To make reservations send an e-mail to; put “Bird Walk” in the subject line and include in your e-mail: the number of people in your party, your phone number and your Zoo membership number.

  • AnimalBytes also invites you to come out and count with us at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Refuge. Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8:00 AM. Last year we counted 29 species, including 122 double-crested cormorants, 47 red-winged blackbirds and a merlin. We will meet at the cement sign at the north entrance to the wildlife area. To access the parking area, enter the park from Woodley at the same driveway as the Japanese Gardens. Stay to the right and follow the road east along the wall. The road ends at a parking area with a public restroom. The cement sign and the entrance path are just before you come to the public restroom. Well-behaved children are always welcome, they have the best eyes and are our next generation of conservationists.

Whether you are an experienced birder or casual observer, science needs your help. Even if you only count the five mourning doves on your lawn, EVERY BIRD COUNTS.

Every bird is important.
You can make a difference.
Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count.

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