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Protecting Birds by Counting Them


Protecting Birds by Counting Them

Debra Jacobs

Mark your calendar - the Great Backyard Bird Count will happen this year between Friday, February 16, and Monday, February 19.

Your child can make a difference in protecting birds by helping scientists get a snapshot of bird populations.


It’s simple. All you do is go into your backyard - or really anywhere - and spend as little as 15 minutes (or as long as you want), counting all the birds you see. Then, online, you send your count into the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, where scientists study the data they collect from participants all over the world.

One of the beautiful things about this crowd-sourcing science/conservation activity is that people of all ages can participate, and you don’t have to know anything about birds. The Audubon website provides a nice overview of the event, and The Great Backyard Bird Count website gives you an easy “how to” and provides all the information you need. It offers many resources to help you go deeper if you wish, including links to bird lists and birding apps.

The Great Backyard Bird Count provides a great opener for conversations with your child about threats to the natural world and how many people, including scientists and others, are working to protect it.

Have fun and let me know how it goes!