By Carol Mills
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Friday, Feb. 15 through Monday, Feb. 18 is the 16th annual Great Backyard Bird Count.
“This annual four-day event engages bird watchers of all ages to count birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent,” said Wendi Allen, coordinator of the local count.
A checklist can be obtained from Backyard Birds at 1115 S. Laurel Road, London, Ky. 40744, or online from birdsource.org. Copies of the printed list can also be obtained by calling Burkmann’s Backyard Birds at (606) 878-1144 or (606) 330-0606.
Birds have to be counted for at least 15 minutes on one or more days.
They can be counted for a longer period of time, and in as many places on as many as four days. A separate checklist for each new day must be used. More than one checklist per day can be used for each location on that day.
The rules are as follows:
1. Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see together at any one time. You could take note of the highest number of each species you see on this checklist.
2. Stationary Count: This is a count made in one area, such as your backyard, where you remain in one place. In this case, simply report the highest number of each species seen together at one time, as usual.
When you’re finished, enter your results on the checklist or online.
3. Traveling Count: This is a count made over a distance, such as birding on a trail. In this case, you will count new birds of each species as you move along, but only if you can be relatively certain you did not count them previously. You’ll add the numbers for each species at the end of your walk.
4. Some people find it helpful to fill out the data form before entering it on the website. By printing it off ahead of time, they know what information they need to be aware of, such as snow depth, for example. The data form can also be obtained at Burkmann’s Backyard Birds.
5. Notice to all teachers: If you’re a teacher looking to get your class involved with the GBBC, please call ahead for extra copies. Once a class has turned in their checklists, students will receive certificates. (The certificates for 2013 will be available when the GBBC ends.) This is a way to get your entire class involved. The class that turns in the most species will receive a pizza party.
“We’ll be glad to give you all the information you need and work with you to make this a success for your students,” Allen said. “Please give us a call at (606) 330-0606 for all the details and we’ll print for you all the checklists and deliver them to your school. Please call us to get further details.”
(Only one pizza party per school, to be held on a day of the teacher’s choosing.)
Schools must pre-register by no later than February 11.