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Massive winter bird count,
Feb. 15-18
11th annual Great Backyard Bird Count collects vital stats for bird conservation

New York, NY & Ithaca, NY, January 2008­Bird watchers across North America are poised to take a real-time snapshot of where the birds are during the 11th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 15–18, 2008.

This year’s event calls on birders to “Count for Fun, Count for the Future.” Anyone can count birds wherever they are and enter their tallies online at www.birdcount.org. These reports contribute valuable information for science and conservation, spotlighting changes in bird population and distribution from year to year. The count is led by Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Participation is free and no registration is required.

Overall, bird watchers submitted a record-breaking 80,000 checklists during the four-day event in 2007—reporting 11 million birds and 613 species. Count results over the years show how species such as Eurasian Collared-Dove and Red-bellied Woodpecker are spreading into new areas. They also show declines in some species, such as the American Crow and Northern Pintails.

Taking part in the GBBC is easy. You don’t even have to know a lot about birds and you can find helpful identification tips on the web site at www.birdcount.org. Participants watch birds for as little as 15 minutes on one or more days of the event, counting in their yards, city parks, nature centers, or wherever they like. They enter the highest number of each species seen at one time on the GBBC web site.

Participants can explore maps and charts showing what others are reporting in their area or across the continent.Visitors to the web site can also see winning photos from the 2007 photo contest and get inspired to send in their own digital images during the 2008 GBBC. Every photo submitted is considered for the contest.

In addition to digital photos, you can also shoot video of birds and bird watchers during the 2008 count. Upload your video to YouTube and tag it “Great Backyard Bird Count.” Some of the best clips will be posted on the GBBC web site!

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a free event, sponsored in part by Wild Birds Unlimited. Everyone who participates will be entered in a drawing to win bird-related prizes. For more information, visit www.birdcount.org.






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