Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coastal Bend Shines in Great Backyard Bird Count

The 2009 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) has finished its four-day run (the last day being Monday, President's Day) and Coastal Bend communities lead the nation! Corpus Christi reported the most species in the nation (176). Rockport is third (160), Aransas Pass is tied for fifth (152), and Kingsville is in ninth with 146.

The GBBC is an annual four-day event when birders count the birds they see in the backyard, at their feeders, at a neighborhood park, even at a local wildlife refuge. Participants count birds anywhere for as little or as long as they wish during the four-day period. They tally the highest number of birds of each species seen together at any one time. To report their counts, they fill out an online checklist at the Great Backyard Bird Count web site.

The GBBC engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event.

According to count organizers (Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, National Audubon Society), as the count progresses anyone with Internet access can explore what is being reported from their own towns or anywhere in the United States and Canada. They can also see how this year's numbers compare with those from previous years. Participants may also send in photographs of the birds they see. A selection of images is posted in the online photo gallery.

Check the GBBC website to see a current list of the top cities. For 2009, though, the Coastal Bend has hold on four of the top ten spots!

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