Looking for a fun way to celebrate Valentine's weekend with your honey? If you are Nature-lovers, consider taking part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, which begins tomorrow, St.Valentine's Day, and runs through Monday.
I lifted my headline for this blogpost from the official GBBC news release. "Show the wild birds some love." Thought that was pretty catchy hype for organized birdwatching that begins on the day of hearts and flowers and true love.
Volunteers in approximately 100 countries identify and count the birds they spot while watching at least 15 minutes a day on one or more days of the event. Of course, you can bird-watch all day each day if you want.
My participation will be mostly while dawgwalking this time. We used to have a backyard bird feeder; however, we took it down because bears from a nearby nature preserve now roam our neighborhood in search of yummy feeders. I did not want my Junkyard Dawg to take on a bear, as she undoubtedly would. We still see a lot of birds hanging around our cedar trees and sometimes nesting there.
In addition, Elliedawg and I usually see lots of bluebirds, robins, and chipping sparrows on one of our woodsy walks, and of course there are gulls, sandpipers, and pelicans galore at the beach. Rarely does a day pass that we do not see a snowy egret on a nearby pond. Moreover, eight swans now have adopted a lake at the cardiologists' office as their home. Ah, another heart connection!
The GBBC is more than just a recreational activity. Scientists use data from all the counts to assess movements of bird populations and their health. During last year's GBBC, volunteers submitted 210,000 bird checklists with 6,850 bird species recorded. The event is sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, and Birds Canada.
You can find more information and sign up at birdcount.org. It's free and it's fun!
Happy Valentine's Day!
© Robert Gray Holland 2020
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