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Great Backyard Bird Count This Weekend!

Posted by lrozzell at Feb 17, 2012 06:35 PM |

The Great Backyard Bird Count just asks you to look out your window for 15 minutes—or you can make a whole weekend event. Not a birder? They've got that covered, too.

Great Backyard Bird Count This Weekend!

Watching for birds above Boise. MB Whitaker photo.

Birds do wonderful things in the spring. From sage-grouse strutting to bald eagle and hummingbird nesting to our downtown Boise peregrine falcons, they amaze us when we take a moment to watch and enjoy. This weekend, you can pause and notice your birds and be part of a national treasure hunt to discover where the birds are.

The Great Backyard Bird Count lets you participate for as little as 15 minutes of bird watching. Last year, I was traveling and only completed 15 minutes sitting in a parking lot on an airline shuttle. I got to report a chickadee and a house sparrow, contributing a tiny nugget to the 92,000 checklists filed last year! You can watch the results come in on the website maps—my sister texted me that she had spotted a bald eagle on the 520 bridge in Seattle and, sure enough, minutes later the reports were flowing in.

Another year, a friend and I challenged ourselves to report from different habitats—a pond, the foothills, yard feeders, the cross-country ski trail. We expected to see ducks and finches and were thrilled by the elk and the bald eagle we encountered as well! I don't know a wigeon from a gadwall (those are Idaho ducks), but when you head to the website to type in your checklist, they let you report what you know (Canada geese, right?) and forget the rest. Every little bit helps!

So you may have an extra day this weekend, or you may want to spend 15 minutes on the couch looking out the window—and be a part of a great effort to know more about our birds. You may even want to go on tour with a notebook—all efforts are appreciated. Enjoy, and send pictures!


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