Some of you may have seen the new-ish display in the Mantor Library Browsing Room - it features the winter bird residents of our area, and how and what to feed them. (Stop in and see if you can identify all 13 species without using the answer key!)
A few days ago, a patron came to my office, told me how much she liked the display, and then asked if I would be willing to include some information about The Great Backyard Bird Count. I did, and I'd like to pass it along here, as well.
The Great Backyard Bird Count, taking place this weekend, is a joint project of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Audobon Society, and Bird Studies Canada. Beginning Friday the 17th through Monday, backyard bird counters will be tallying feeder visitors all over the continent. According to the GBBC website, the data collected will help answer questions such as these:
How will this winter's snow and cold temperatures influence bird populations?
Where are winter finches and other "irruptive" species that appear in large numbers during some years but not others?
How will the timing of birds' migrations compare to past years?
How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?
What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities vs. suburban, rural, and natural areas?
Are any birds undergoing worrisome declines that point to the need for conservation protection?
Participation is easy: print off a tally form from the website linked above. Then spend as little as 15 minutes (or longer - it's up to you!) counting the bird species you see. Submit the results on the website, and voila! You've done your part to help our feathered friends.
Here's a link to a Powerpoint presentation that does a great job explaining the process: