Friday, October 22, 2010

GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT

(Click here to view the GBBC eNewsletter - October 2010 online.)

Save the dates: the GBBC is coming!

The next Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) takes place Friday, February 18 through Monday, February 21, 2011. The National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, with Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada, are already in the planning stages for the event and we'll be staying in touch over the next few months to help you prepare for the biggest, best count ever!

This past February's GBBC produced another record-breaking turnout. Participants turned in more than 97,300 checklists online, and identified more than 600 species. Read a summary of the 2010 GBBC.

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New 2011 GBBC video: Gives an overview of the event and detailed instructions on how to collect and enter data.

New 2011 PowerPoint: Use it to give presentations about the GBBC to bird clubs or other groups.

As much as we're interested in the birds, we're also interested in the people who watch them. So we did a survey of several thousand 2010 GBBC participants and thought you might be interested in what we learned about who takes part in the count, why, and what they get out of it.
GBBC Survey results

• Fifty-six percent of GBBC participants rated themselves as beginning to intermediate birders when it came to identifying birds by sight, with 44 % falling into the advanced to expert range. Eighty-seven percent ranked themselves as having beginner to intermediate skill in identifying bird species by sound.

• The most important reason given for participating in the GBBC was to contribute directly to the study of bird populations, followed closely by contributing directly to bird conservation efforts.

• Nearly 60% of participants reported that the most influential reason for becoming initially interested in birds was easy access to nature, wildlife, and bird feeders.

Increase Your Bird Knowledge with a Birds of North America Online Special Offer
If you want access to the most comprehensive information on all of the 700+ species of breeding birds in the U.S. and Canada, we have a deal for you. Great Backyard Bird Count participants are being offered a special one-year subscription rate of $34, a savings of nearly 20% from the regular price. To take advantage of this offer, simply:

1) Visit the the Cornell Lab of Ornithology E-Store
2) Select the one year BNA Online Subscription Option and click “Add to Cart”
3) At the “Cart” enter "GBBC" in the Promotion Code field. Click apply and you'll get the discount
4) Click “Proceed to Checkout”
5) A Subscription Code with account set-up instructions will be emailed to you

Get a preview: At the request of several organizations involved in the Gulf Oil Spill Response, Birds of North America Online is providing free access to more than 50 species at risk from the oil spill. Have a look. Check out the efforts of citizen science participants to track Gulf Coast birds using eBird and Audubon's ongoing restoration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

FeederWatching Time is Just Around the Corner

The 2010-11 season of Project FeederWatch begins November 13, though you can sign up at any time. FeederWatchers keep track of their birds through the winter and report their tallies each week. This helps scientists track changes in winter bird populations from year to year.

To learn more and to sign up, visit www.feederwatch.org. New participants receive a kit with a handbook, a bird-identification poster, calendar, and instruction booklet. There is a $15 fee ($12 for Lab members) to help cover the costs of materials and participant support. If you live in Canada, please visit our partner, Bird Studies Canada, or call (888) 448-2473.

Thank you for caring about the birds!

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit membership institution interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s website at www.birds.cornell.edu.

Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in conservation. www.audubon.org

Bird Studies Canada (www.birdscanada.org) administers regional, national, and international research and monitoring programs that advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats. We are Canada's national body for bird conservation and science, and we are a non-governmental charitable organization.

National Audubon Society
225 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014
Call: (212) 979-3000

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Call toll-free (800) 843-2473

Bird Studies Canada
Box 160
Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0 Canada
Call: (888) 448-2473 or (519) 3531

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