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Great Backyard Bird Count 2011

January 05, 2011 2 min read

Organized by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and taking place Feb. 18 to 21, the Great Backyard Bird Count encourages bird watchers of all ages and skill levels to contribute to science by helping researchers create a real-time snapshot of birds’ numbers and movement.  Last year, more than 100,000 citizen-generated reports were gathered during the count.

For those who want to participate in this year’s count, Audubon Guides suggests keeping these tips in mind:

  • Bring the birds to you!  Put up a bird feeder where it can be seen from inside and high enough so birds will be safe from predators.  Then add bird seed (black oil sunflower seeds are an especially good choice) before and during the count.  For more information about bird feeding basics, visit the National Audubon Society’sABCs of Bird Feeding.
  • Look for birds anywhere, including at home or at parks, schools or nature centers.  
  • Make birding more interesting to all of the members of your family by taking advantage of new technologies.  For example, the Audubon Guide series of bird apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch use interactive technologies, GPS capabilities and intuitive search functions to make it easier and more fun than ever to identify and understand birds.  
  • Be quiet! Birds have better hearing than humans: a snap of a twig will send them fluttering away.
  • Document!  Use the Audubon Guides’ GPS-enabled sighting list to keep track of the birds you see during the count.  And once you’ve finished counting, remember to report your sightings to the National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology by visiting
  • If you don’t know the name of a bird, take note of characteristics such as colors, size, shape and habitat.  These can be used along with the Audubon Guide series of bird apps or even traditional print field guides to help determine the exact species.
  • Dress for the occasion: You wouldn’t go skiing in shorts; don’t go birding in clothes that rustle, squeak or jingle. And be sure to leave your jangly jewelry at home.

 About the Audubon Guide Series of Bird Apps

From Chickadees to Condors, the Audubon Guides series of bird apps covers more than 750 species of birds with information on appearance, habitat, behavior, diet, nesting, mating, migration, endangered status and more.  Created in alliance with the National Audubon Society, the apps’ features include thousands of professional color photos, more than 2,200 bird sounds, and range maps for each species