Count birds and enter tallies Feb. 17-20 as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count

The 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is coming up Feb. 17 to 20. The four-day event is free and open to bird watchers of all ages and skill levels.

“The GBBC is a fun and easy event to experience birding while providing valuable information on birds at both the local, in a manner that contributes to a national picture,” said Robert Skorkowsky, avian program coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region.

Bird watchers across the U.S. and Canada will tally millions of birds in the annual count coordinated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada.

Participants watch birds at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their tallies at www.birdcount.org. The internet results will be updated hourly in the form of animated maps and colorful graphs and participants will be able to see their observations on a national scale.

In addition, the web site provides bird check lists by region, identification tips and access to photos, sounds, maps, and natural history information on more than 500 bird species.

Participants can also submit photos to an online gallery showcasing winter birds found during the GBBC. “This competition includes a photo contest, rankings for most numerous birds, and the coveted “checklist champ” title for towns, states, and provinces with the highest participation,” said Skorkowsky All participants are entered in a drawing for prizes that include bird feeders, binoculars, books, CDs, and many other great birding products.

Data sheets must be submitted to www.birdcount.org no later than February 27. For further information, contact Robert Skorkowsky by telephone at 970-870-2146 or by email at rskorkowsky@fs.fed.us

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