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Bird count educational

by DENNIS. L. CLAY
Herald Columnist | February 10, 2020 9:13 PM

The Great Backyard Bird Count will take place this weekend, Feb. 14, 15, 16 and 17. This is a world-wide event with the final count used by scientists to get a “snapshot” of the location of bird species throughout the world.

From the Audubon Society: “Birds are important because they’re excellent indicators of the health of our ecosystems. Participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count is one of the easiest and best ways to help scientists understand how our changing climate may be affecting the world’s birdlife,” says Chad Wilsey, interim Chief Scientist for National Audubon Society. “All over the world people are paying more attention to our environment and how it’s changing. There’s a lot of bad news out there, but in just 15 minutes you can be part of a global solution to the crises birds and people are facing.”

Now, my opinion doesn’t agree with the above statement entirely. The idea about people paying more attention to our environment is correct. The more we educate people about taking care of our world the better.

The statement indicates this bird count is one of the easiest and best way to help scientists better understand what is happening around the world on a certain day at a certain time.

First, this is a free and a family-friendly event. These are perhaps the most significant parts of the count: Free and Family-friendly.

What is required of a participant in the bird count? Not much, but the rewards are many.

The contributor/participant needs to register on the bird-count website. Google the Great Backyard Bird Count and click on the register tab. The originators designed this count to be about as easy as possible. Simply count the birds in a specific area and submit the numbers.

Complete a separate checklist for each count and submit each checklist on the website. For example: How easy is it to count the birds in your own backyard?

Imagine the parents of two youth, 6- and 7-years old, telling them about the count. With guidance, they have learned to identify four or five species of birds. On the first day of the count, Friday, Feb. 14, they rush home and are ready to count.

Mom is ready for them and has the checklist ready, with two chairs situated before the sliding door. Each has a notepad with the most common bird species listed.

They need to count and record the numbers. The required minimum amount of time for a count is 15 minutes, but participants can count for a longer period of time.