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Susquehanna Life

Why birds count

Feb 12, 2015 09:52AM ● By Erica Shames

One of the largest backyard citizen-science observation events, the aptly named the Great Backyard Bird Count, takes place Friday, Feb. 13, through Monday, Feb. 16.

Spending a few minutes this weekend watching birds will be relaxing for you and helpful to scientists—who combine the backyard count information with other citizen-science projects such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird—to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird species.

The data help scientists understand bird diversity, migration patterns and species population. Throughout the four days, anyone can count birds anywhere—in a backyard, at a local park, through an office window—for at least 15 minutes, and then share their sightings through the website, birdcount.org.

In last year's count, Pennsylvanians submitted the third highest number of reports among all states and Canadian provinces. More than 142,000 birders from 135 countries participated in the 2014 count, documenting nearly 4,300 species and more than 17 million individual birds on more than 144,000 bird checklists. Sign up today to be a part of bird history.

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