Add ‘Em Up! Great Backyard Bird Count Opens Feb. 18

LOWER SALFORD PA – Looking for something fun and educational that can be completed alone or with family members this month? Lower Salford Township, in its February (2022) newsletter, suggests participating in the 25th annual “Great Backyard Bird Count.” It’s a national event supported by the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society, and Birds Canada.

The yearly four-day count-up, which began in 1998, is a community science project intended to collect data on wild birds and to display the results in near-real time. This year’s bird count will run from Friday (Feb. 18) through Feb. 21 (Monday). This event has been added to The Posts’ calendar. It’s easy to join in, but also requires some diligence.

Here’s a brief set of directions from the counting team:

  • Decide where you will watch birds. “Pick a spot, grab a pair of binoculars, and start looking!,” the township newsletter proposed. “Even if you don’t have binoculars, it’s easy to spot birds of all kinds in your backyard,” it said or, if you prefer, visit a local park. “And don’t forget to take pictures!,” it added.
  • Watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over each of the four days. It doesn’t need to be at the same time, but conduct a count daily. (That’s where your diligence is needed; don’t miss a day.) “Count all the birds you see or hear within your planned time and location,” and keep a record of each day’s count, the Cornell lab requested.
  • Then share your bird sightings. It’s easiest to do that with a smartphone application called Merlin Bird ID, available for Android and Apple operating systems, here. “Input your information, and see how your counts look with others around the world,” the township stated. “It’s a fascinating way to learn about the world around you.”
Coming Week's Fun Includes Great Backyard Bird Count

The bird count team will hold a free webinar on the counting procedure, and offer tips for birders of all ages, on Wednesday (Feb. 16) at 2 p.m. as a livestream broadcast on the Cornell Lab Facebook page, here. Experts will explain how to identify birds, unlock the mystery of bird songs, and practice counting birds no matter how large the flock or busy the feeder.

Register in advance for the webinar, here. You also can hear a podcast on why the count matters, here.

Photos by The Posts