Bird watchers around the state are encouraged to participate in the 2013 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) Feb. 15-18. Similar to the recently conducted Kansas Winter Bird Feeder Survey, Kansas bird watchers of every skill level are asked to grab their binoculars and provide valuable population data from their observations. Through the data collected, the GBBC program hopes to better define bird ranges, populations, migration pathways and habitat needs.
A joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Bird Studies Canada, the GBBC program welcomes bird data from any location, including backyards, parks, wetlands and urban areas. Participants are asked to watch birds for at least 15 minutes, tally the number of each species observed and report their findings at <a href="http://www.birdcount.org/" target="_blank">www.birdcount.org</a>.
For the first time this year, the GBBC program is making global participation possible through a real-time, online checklist program from www.ebird.org. This four-day event is expected to receive sightings from tens of thousands of participants, reporting more than 600 bird species in the US and Canada alone. In addition, participants will be able to view other participants’ observations through interactive maps on the website.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) will also be integrating future Kansas Winter Bird Feeder Surveys with the GBBC to allow participants to enter their data online, eliminating the need to mail their data to KDWPT. This integration will also allow for collected data to be easily accessed by researchers and conservationist in real time.