Get your family involved in something fun this weekend and help scientists track where birds are gathering this winter. For at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 15-18, 2019, simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as you wish. Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. Scientists use information from the Great Backyard Bird Count, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations. The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions. If you’re new to the count, or have not participated since before the 2013 merger with eBird, you must create a free online account to enter your checklists. If you already have an account, just use the same login name and password.
photo by: Donna Santarossa Windsor, ON, Canada, Morning Dove
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, located in Ithaca NY, announces the launch of their annual ‘Funky Nests in Funky Places’ contest. This popular contest focuses on the quirky places birds sometimes build their nests. Participants have found nests on tiny skyscraper ledges, in barbecue grills, traffic lights, wind chimes, flower pots, an old motorcycle helmet, or just about anywhere. Go outside this spring and check out store signs, streetlights, balconies, traffic lights, gutters, downspouts, rooftops, stadium lights, light fixtures, grills, utility poles, potted plants and more! You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find, and be sure to share your discoveries. The contest is geared towards the general public, they are not looking for professional photographers, just looking for interesting stories. They hope that people of all ages will participate, and will accept diverse types of entries like poems or videos.
Photo by Karel & BOGette. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Red-tail Hawk we have to come love named Ezra has died. As some of you may know, Ezra has not been seen on the Cornell Hawks cam or on the Cornell campus for the past several days, and worries have been mounting. We are extremely sad to have to share the news with you that we learned this evening that Ezra has died. On Saturday, March 18, the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center received an injured Red-tailed Hawk who we now know was Ezra, and who had been found near the A. D. White House on campus.
Global Big Day is a single day uniting birdwatchers worldwide across political boundaries and language barriers, all brought together by the shared passion for birds. Global Big Day takes place on May 14, 2016, is easy to participate in and helps scientists learn about bird populations and migration patterns. Submit Your Data to eBird on May 14
It’s that simple. If you submit your birds to eBird they count. Learn how to take part.
Orange highlights the above-normal warmth of equatorial surface waters in the Pacific that are driving the current El Niño. Image courtesy of NOAA. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the El Niño weather phenomenon warming Pacific waters to temperatures matching the highest ever recorded, participants in the 2016 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), may be in for a few surprises. The 19th annual GBBC is taking place worldwide February 12 through 15. Information gathered and reported online at birdcount.org will help scientists track changes in bird distribution, some of which may be traced to El Niño storms and unusual weather patterns. “The most recent big El Niño took place during the winter of 1997-98,” says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird program which collects worldwide bird counts year-round and also provides the backbone for the GBBC. “The GBBC was launched in February 1998 and was pretty small at first.
It’s been called The Big Empty – an immense sea of sagebrush that once stretched 500,000 square miles across North America, exasperating thousands of westward-bound travelers as an endless place through which they had to pass to reach their destinations. Yet it’s far from empty, as those who look closely will discover. In this ecosystem anchored by the sage, eagles and antelope, badgers and lizards, rabbits, wrens, owls, prairie dogs, songbirds, hawks and migrating birds of all description make their homes. The Sagebrush Sea tracks the Greater Sage-Grouse and other wildlife through the seasons as they struggle to survive in this rugged and changing landscape. In early spring, male sage grouse move to open spaces, gathering in clearings known as leks to establish mating rights.