A hooded merganser swims a quiet creek. A cardinal sings from a bird feeder on a bare cottonwood branch. A bald eagle crisscrosses the blue sky.
Observed in a single morning, these birds were part of millions–33,464,616 to be exact –that made up the final tally of the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) in 2013 when participants in 111 countries submitted 137,998 checklists, documenting more than one-third of the world’s bird species in just four days.
Want to be a part of the experience? No matter where you live, fifteen minutes is all you need.
During the 17th Annual GBBC February 14-17, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society encourages people tally the number of birds observed from the backyard and beyond. The GBBC collects information and photographs online, providing a real-time snapshot of the world’s dynamic bird population at: http://gbbc.birdcount.org/.
In Nebraska, GBBC events such as the annual “Birds and Breakfast” at Ponca State Park on Saturday (Feb. 15) invites the public to participate, guided by members of the Loess Hills Audubon Society. Free birding tours take place throughout the day following breakfast at the Resource and Education Center. For more information, contact the park at (402) 755 2284.