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County birdwatchers invited to join global Backyard Bird Count

Backyard birding photo from PEPtBO

Following a successful community bird count in December, the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory invites birdwatchers to participate in the 25th annual Great Backyard Bird Count to be held in February.

PEPtBO member Dale Smith reports that despite heavy snowfall, 28 enthusiastic citizen scientists headed out early Dec. 18th for the 45th Prince Edward County Christmas Bird Count.

“The count circle is centred on Waupoos Island in Prince Edward Bay and stretches along the water from Point Traverse to the Bay of Quinte near Adolphustown. Unfortunately, heavy snowfall cut the day short resulting in only 9,205 birds counted, but the tally for American Robin at 121 was nearly double the 45-year average.

“Similarly, 376 Cedar Waxwings was twice the yearly average. Perhaps the abundance of red cedar berries accounts for this? ‘Good’ birds included Northern Shrike, six Bald Eagles, Merlin, Brown Creeper and two blackbird species, either Red-winged or Rusty. Highlights of count week included Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Winter Wren, and a very rare Golden Eagle.”

Each February, for four days, (this year Feb. 18-21) the world comes together for the love of birds when people are invited to spend time in their favourite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them to a central location. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and now partnered with Birds Canada, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds in real time. To join in as a citizen scientist, click here to sign up.  and learn more about a free webinar to brush up on bird ID, unlock the myster of bird songs and practice counting birds no matter how large the flock, or busy the feeder. The webinar is designed for birders of all ages and experience.

The birdcount.org website also includes a link to the Merlin Bird ID application for smart phones which covers bird species from seven continents, as well as the eBird Mobile to track birding activity; or eBird on a computer.

 

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