January 2011 eNewsletter
The GBBC is just weeks away!
Just another quick reminder of the dates: February 18-21. Now is the perfect time to brush up on your winter birds, and remind family and friends that the 14th annual GBBC is just around the corner. Downloadable flyers and web buttons are available on the GBBC website to you help you spread the word.
Each year we rely on GBBC participants to help us tell others about the count and encourage more new people to join in—these are our trusted ambassadors. Ambassadors may distribute GBBC flyers in their community. Some really get into the spirit and hold workshops showing others how to take part in the GBBC and helping identify what birds might be seen in their area during the count. Our GBBC PowerPoint presentation (with script) is handy for these presentations—you may want to consider sharing it with your local bird clubs, schools, libraries, or other organizations. Some ambassadors also speak to newspaper, television, and radio reporters about the GBBC. If you’re interested in doing more to promote the count, please visit our GBBC ambassador page.
Social networking is the electronic "word-of-mouth" you can use to help spread information about the GBBC far and wide. So go ahead and tweet about what you’re doing to get ready for the GBBC—tag your tweet with #gbbc and it will be drawn into a special widget that will appear on the GBBC home page. You can also be a fan on the GBBC Facebook page and share your images, videos, and other bird-related activities as we get closer to the count. GBBC participants are a fun bunch and connecting this way will help us build a great seasonal birding community!
On New Year’s Eve, about 5,000 blackbirds died in Arkansas after fireworks scared them from their roost and they collided with houses, mailboxes, and possibly each other as they flew about disoriented in the dark. The incident sparked a flurry of media coverage. But it’s the constant, chronic loss of birdlife because of habitat destruction and other causes that should really be headline news. Click here to read a recent New York Times article on the matter. An estimated 100 million birds die from window collisions in the United States alone each year. That’s more than 270,000 per day on average! Outdoor cats are estimated to kill another 100 million per year.
Citizen-science participants have contributed decades of data highlighting other alarming declines:
* Rusty Blackbirds have declined by 95% since the 1960s, indicating a loss of tens of millions of birds. Join the “Rusty Blackbird Blitz” January 29- February 13 if you live in one of the targeted states. See map and find out more.
* Data from Project FeederWatch show that Evening Grosbeaks have declined rangewide since the 1980s.
Your participation in the Great Backyard Bird Count is one piece of the puzzle that helps scientists get the big picture about changes in bird populations.
To learn more about identifying birds by size and shape, watch our “Inside Birding” tutorial.
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
Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0 Canada
Call: (888) 448-2473 or (519) 586-3531