Once again, it’s time for the Great Backyard Bird Count. This year’s count is scheduled for this coming weekend, Friday through Monday.
For those unfamiliar with it, the Great Backyard Bird Count is a citizen science project developed by Cornell University’s Lab for Ornithology and supported by Audubon, Bird Studies Canada and the National Science Foundation, among others. Started in 1998 as an online citizen science project to collect data on wild birds in winter in North America, by 2014, the count had grown to cover 135 countries with more than 144,000 submitted checklists documenting nearly 4,300 species of birds.
The goal of the count is to get a “snapshot” of winter bird species, an estimate of their individual numbers and where they are located. The data collected is available to researchers studying bird distributions and abundance, population trends and range expansions/contractions (among other things).