A good friend and birding enthusiast turned me on to this event, that’s apparently been going on for the past 24 years. How did I not know about the annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) until now! A really fun count, formally tallying all of our winter bird visitors to our back yard in central New Mexico.
Over the 4 days, 30 minutes a day, I counted 37 dark-eyed juncos, 8 juniper titmouse (titmice?), 9 house finches, 3 canyon towhees, 4 Woodhouse’s scrub jays, 2 mountain chickadees, 1 American robin, and more than 4O mountain bluebirds. This variety comprises all of our usual cast of characters over the winter months, either devouring seeds from our backyard feeders, or scrounging for cast-off juniper berries fallen from a large one-seed juniper tree. And oh those beautiful bluebirds ….. they just flew in for a bath and drink from a water dish.
While observing, I had some fun sketching the activity at the feeders, which sit opposite my studio windows.
As of this post, I’m still waiting for Cornell Lab of Ornithology to publish the final results. But by the beginning of day 4, here’s the numbers they shared with everyone:
eBird checklists submitted: more than 200,000; Merlin reports submitted: more than 210,000; number of species reported: more than 6,700 ……. all reported by more than 80,000 birders in over 173 countries world-wide. Wow! These data will be used to help determine population trends of species around the world.
I’ll be back next year and in the future to help collect data for this valuable citizen-science effort. It was fun and easy. Come join me too!