The count, put on by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, was started in 1998 and was the first online citizen/science project which collected data on wild birds. This year the four-day count runs from February 12 to February 15 (The Readers Photo Challenge time frame is from Feb 4-18).
Last year, an estimated 143,000 people participated in the count. To take part in this year’s world-wide event you need to register online (http://gbbc.birdcount.org/about/). Then you can enter your list of birds, submit photos (and view previous pictures) and view all the data in near real-time.
Scientists use the data from the count as well as other projects to gather information about bird populations such as how weather and climate change is affecting them, migration patterns, and the affects of disease and more.
You then enter your findings online or through a free mobile app (http://gbbc.birdcount.org/birding-apps/).
As many a birder knows, birds are beautiful and fascinating animals. Events like the Great Backyard Bird Count helps us all to know a little more about them.
Rules for the Record’s Reader Photo Challenge:
1. Entries can be emailed to email@example.com. Type in “Birds” in the subject line.
2. Photos have to be shot between Feb. 4 and Feb. 18. Please try to identify the type of bird, if possible.
3. Include your name (first and last), hometown, and the kind of camera/lens you used and where it was taken (ie: “John Doe of Stockton. Canon EOS Rebel Ti with 55-300mm lens. An egret along Pool Station Road and Highway 49, San Andreas.”)
4. If there is a recognizable person in the photo, please identify them (name, age, hometown) and what they are doing in the photos.
5. Please feel free to include any interesting anecdotes or stories on how you took the picture.
6. The deadline for submission is Thursday, February 18. The top examples will be published on Thursday, Feb. 25 with an online gallery of all the photos on the same day.