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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Great Backyard Bird Count to kick off Friday

By Jean Zirnhelt | Weminuche Audubon Society

Friday is the first day of another important winter census of birds. The annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), held in the middle of February, documents how birds are doing before they set off on spring migrations. 

Organizers, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada, have made participating in the count fun and easy. Count birds in one place for as little as 15 minutes or as long as several hours anytime during the four days of the count, from Feb. 17 through 20, and enter your findings on eBird.org. 

The use of eBird, an online platform for listing species and numbers of birds, allows people from all over the world to contribute to the data. You can participate from the comfort of your home or take a trip to a favorite outdoor spot to document what you find. Enter a new list whenever you change locations or time periods for your count. If you are new to eBird or to the GBBC, visit birdcount.org for more information on how to set up your account. eBird is a great resource for finding out what birds people are seeing at locations in Archuleta County or at other worldwide locations.

Reports of alarming decreases in bird populations have made documenting numbers more important than ever if we are to understand the reasons for these declines. People just like you and I make tracking these trends possible. The hope is that understanding will result in actions that make the world a better place for all of us. 

Whether you are new to bird identification or a seasoned pro, we invite you to join us on Saturday, Feb. 18, to see what birds we find in the Riverwalk area in town. Weather permitting, we will meet at the native plant garden near the domes on the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership site at 9 a.m. Bring binoculars if you have them. We love our furry friends, but please leave dogs at home. They don’t make very good bird-watching buddies. 

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