Hello 1-Hour Gardeners! Today marks the start of the Great Backyard Bird Count. As they say at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology…Red, Set, Bird!
Congratulations All You Citizen Scientists!
According to their statistics, all you birders found 70% of the entire planet’s birds last year. That’s you, plus 50,000 other compadres. It’s a great team. And I know you want to be part of it again this year.
Participating is super-easy:
- Watch birds anywhere, anytime from February 12 to the 15. Watch for at least 15 minutes and keep track of how many individuals of each species you saw. (I recommend using the Merlin Bird ID app. It’s a great tool…and it’s free! Get it now. No time to waste!)
- Then record what you saw on eBird.org/home. You’ll have to create an account…or use the same one you set up last year. It’s easy to do. The same as it is for setting up accounts on websites all over tarnation.
- Rinse. Then Repeat! Count as many times as you can over these 4 days, and record what you saw.
- By entering your sightings, you’re automatically entered to win ZEISS binoculars.
Bring the Kids
Get out there with your kids…and don’t hog the binoculars. Make sure they get a turn.
If you haven’t been able to see family for a while, you can go out “together” in different parts of the country. Just like we all look up at the same moon and feel together, you can look at birds and talk about what you saw. Great sharing…great togetherness across the miles.
You don’t have to be good at it. I’m not. But I did catch this wing marks in the snow in my backyard. Not sure what they are. They look like wing marks…
According to the Canadian Wildlife Federation, it’s possible to find “strike marks” of an owl—left in the snow, as they scrape the ground to grab their prey. https://cwf-fcf.org/en/resources/DIY/outside/tracking-down-winter-wildlife.html
But there is usually a big scuff mark in between where they grabbed the animal. What do you think? Perhaps it missed its mark and just left the wing prints?
Then again, it looks like a smaller bird. What do you think it is?
Give me your ideas. And tell us all about the cool stuff you saw!
Happy Great Backyard Bird Count! Hoot! Hoot!