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Great Backyard Bird Count held this weekend

February 16, 2018
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Outdoors Writer ( , Lake Placid News

Feeder watchers and avid birders alike will keep an eye out for feathered neighbors this weekend as the annual Great Backyard Bird Count takes place Friday, Feb. 16 through Monday, Feb. 19.

Unlike the Christmas Bird Count, in which volunteers prowl designated areas looking for as many birds and species as can be found, the GBBC requires only a commitment of 15 minutes or more.

The GBBC is sponsored by the Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and offers scientists and conservationists a snapshot of bird populations from around the world. According to Audubon, more than 214,000 people from 140 countries participated, spotting a total of 5,940 species.

In the U.S., New York state led the way, submitting more than 7,000 checklists with 181 species noted.

This is the 20th year for the GBBC, and it has grown exponentially from the 23,000 checklists submitted in 1998.

"Remember that you don't have to venture far afield at all," Jon McCracken, national program director for Bird Studies Canada, said in a press release. "You truly can count birds right in your own backyard or, better yet, take a pleasant winter stroll around your neighborhood.

"A little snow and cold shouldn't get in your way."

The website has information on bird identification and how to participate. Birds can be counted anywhere and at any time during the four-day span, although the minimum is a 15-minute watch. Bird checklists for each day and location can be submitted online or through eBird app on a smart phone.

The eBird program allows birders to submit their sightings at any time, rather than just during the GBBC. eBird also has a searchable database and maps to get real time bird sighting information year-round.



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