but the the squirrels just can’t resist . . .

I know a lot of you are avid backyard birdwatchers, either at the feeders you place in your gardens, from your windows, or when you’re out and about, so I don’t want you to miss the Great Backyard Bird Count happening this weekend, February 16 – 19.

What is the Great Backyard Birdcount? It’s a partnership between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society, and Birds Canada. Begun in 1998, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online participatory-science project (also referred to as community science¬†or citizen science) to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real time. You can read all about the project – and its history – here.

How to participate? It’s easy! All you need is . . . 15 minutes and some way to identify the birds you see – or hear – around you. Then you just count ’em up and report back to the GBBC. You can find participation and reporting details here.

Tom and I plan to sit out on our patio and front porch with our binoculars and our Merlin apps at various times this weekend. We’ll keep a list and then enter our sightings – and soundings – using eBird (an app that is sort of the reporting “extension” of the Merlin app). There are other ways to report your findings, too, which are detailed in the participation page linked above.

It’s fun. It’s easy. And . . . it’s science! I hope you’ll give it a try!

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One more thing: If you have even the slightest interest in the birds around you, I highly recommend the Merlin app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is amazing – and free! I love turning on the “sound id” feature, and letting “Merlin” identify all the birds – by sound – in my garden.