Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Great Backyard Bird Count, Los Angeles

I was out bird watching this morning in the heart of Los Angeles. The rain was fairly steady, not pouring, but soaking. The humans were few but the birds were many.

Birds enjoy a gentle rain and actually so do I.

Why would seven adults tromp through puddles to count birds?

I can give you several reasons:
  • There is always the thrill of the unexpected, like the great blue heron we spotted flying low through the mist,
  • The opportunity for discovery, we watched a pair of red-shouldered hawks putting the finishing touches on a new nest,
  • Moments of peace and beauty like the female Allen's hummingbird taking a bath in the rain and the elegant nest she has built edged in bright green moss,
  • There is always something new to learn, today I learned how to identify a male acorn woodpecker from a female,
  • There are smiles and laughter, and real human friendship
  • And the 35 bird species we counted will be reported to Cornell University through so scientists can track changes in bird populations
Friday Feb. 18 - Monday Feb. 21 is the Great Backyard Bird Count an opportunity for you too to go out and count birds for science. You can count in your yard, walking to school, in a park or a parking lot. For four days people across North America will be taking a snapshot of the birds across the continent. Everyone is invited to participate. Click the button to go to the Great Backyard Bird Count website for more information and to enter your data.

Me, I'll be counting again on Saturday Feb. 19 at the Los Angeles Zoo.  Zoo members are invited to join in on a bird walk before the Zoo opens. We will meet at the glass doors north of the main entrance between 7:45 and 8 AM. To make reservations please phone 323/622-8114 or e-mail (including “Bird Walk” in the subject line) with the following information: your name, membership number, members in your party, age of attending children, and your phone number.

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