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Nature Winter

The Great Backyard Bird Count 2020

A net loss of nearly three billion North American birds has occurred in the last 50 years. You can help scientists by counting birds.

Yellow-rumped Warbler taking a bath in Fernandina Beach. Photo by AmeliaIslandLiving.com
Backyard Birds: Yellow-rumped Warbler, Fernandina Beach
Do It For The Birds

Be part of a citizen-science project by counting birds during The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). You can participate for a minimum of 15 minutes on just one day between February 14 -17, 2020. Those with more time can count for longer and add more days. Show some love for the birds this Valentine’s Day weekend by helping during the GBBC.

“Counting birds and reporting what you see is one simple way you can help support bird conservation,” says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

3 Billion Birds Lost

The results of a scientific study published in the journal Science (October 2019), revealed a dire drop in bird population during the past 50 years. One in four North American birds have disappeared during the last five decades (watch video further below.) The decline was a startling net loss of nearly three billion birds since 1970.

Help By Counting Birds

People from around the world take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Don’t let the name fool you! Count birds anywhere, it doesn’t have to be in your backyard. Go birding at a park or take a walk in your neighborhood. But you can just watch out your window, if you’d prefer.

Great Florida Birding Trail
Fort Clinch State Park Bird Kiosk, Great Florida Birding Trail. Photo by Amelia Island Living magazine.
Bird Info Kiosk, Fort Clinch (Great Florida Birding Trail)

Amelia Island’s Fort Clinch State Park is the gateway to the Great Florida Birding Trial on the state’s north Atlantic Coast. “Over 250 species have been recorded at this park, including 25+ species of wood-warbler,” says the Great Florida Birding Trail website. The birding kiosk, pictured above, provides novice birders with information about what birds they might see at Fort Clinch.

Take a look at this adorable Warbler pictured below taking a bath. It was photographed recently through a window overlooking a backyard on Amelia Island.

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Fernandina Beach. Photo by AmeliaIslandLiving.com
Backyard Birds: Warbler Taking Bath, Fernandina Beach

Many birds are attracted to bird baths and fountains for a drink and a dip. Watch birds puff up into fluffy, feathery balls, like this Yellow-rumped Warbler. You can help birds by providing a water source in your yard, and planting native plants that attract insects, bees, and butterflies.

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.

Enter Your Bird Data

Register for a free account to enter your bird sightings online at the Great Backyard Bird Count website. Or use the app! There’s a free eBird Mobile app you can download to enter data.

Photo Contest

There’s also the option to take some photos of the birds you see to enter in the GBBC Photo Contest.

Watch Video, 3 Billion Birds Lost
Video by American Bird Conservatory

“Using multiple and independent monitoring networks, we report population losses across much of the North American avifauna over 48 years, including once-common species and from most biomes. Integration of range-wide population trajectories and size estimates indicates a net loss approaching 3 billion birds, or 29% of 1970 abundance.”

Source: Decline of the North American avifauna (Science Oct. 4, 2019, Vol. 366, Issue 6461)

Learn lots more about the decline in birds and how you can help at 3billionbirds.org.