I participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count this past weekend (February 12-15) for the second year in a row! I apologize for the subpar photographs- my photography skills can use a bit of work and the camera froze up on me about 5 minutes after arriving to my birding destination, so I missed out on some great photo opportunities. Lesson learned? Always bring a second camera!
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an effort to collect bird checklists from around the world! This event happens once a year over a weekend in February, from Friday through Monday. Simply choose a birding spot, bring a notebook, pen, binoculars, bird ID guide, camera, and keep track of beginning/ending times as well as bird species you can identify. Register and upload your data on the eBird website. You can also view other bird checklists that have been submitted from your region and throughout the world! Although the GBBC event is once a year, you can still upload your birding data on the eBird website at anytime. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society launched eBird in 2002 as an online database to track bird observations and distributions on a global scale.
Last year, I participated each day during the GBBC, observing and recording birds in several locations including my neighborhood and the local community college. This year, however, I was only able to participate on one day. I enjoy observing wildlife on the nature trail at Mohave Community College Kingman Campus, as there are a variety of wildlife to be seen! I chose this location to record my observations this year. Upon arrival, I immediately heard Gambel’s Quails and saw cottontail rabbits. Antelope squirrels darted between bushes while White-crowned Sparrows searched for seeds under shrubs. The day was overcast, slightly windy and chilly, but abound with life! During the short time I was there, I saw:
- 2 Gambel’s Quails
- 7 White-crowned Sparrows
- 1 Cactus Wren (Arizona’s state bird!)
- 1 Greater Roadrunner
- 1 Eurasian Collared-Dove
- 2 other bird species I was unable to positively identify
I’m fortunate in that I don’t have to travel far to see amazing wildlife! And I get to contribute to bird research and conservation- it doesn’t get any better than that! I encourage you to register on the eBird website to submit your birding observations, too!