There’s no better time to get involved in Cornell’s phenomenal citizen science projects than this weekend; the Great Backyard Bird Count runs Friday February 14 through 16.
This is the second year that the GBBC has run through eBird, utilizing that programs comprehensive network of regional experts and finely-tuned filters to make the process more useful for bird researchers and more accurate for birders. Increasingly eBird is a global tool for monitoring bird populations. This year’s GBBC is not just limited to your backyard, any checklist entered anywhere in the world will be entered into the totals. It’s a global snapshot of bird populations, and a great way to get people familiar with eBird in the hopes they’ll become regular users and members of our community.
The eBird folks have put together a great breakdown of some of the exciting doings this weekend, including some incredible statistics.
How many birds can we find? There are 10,324 species in the world and eBird has recorded almost 96% of them. The 2013 GBBC recorded 4258 species (41.2%). Can eBirders and GBBC participants team up in 2014 to find 5162 species—50% of the world’s species in one long weekend? More?
How many checklists will be submitted? Within eBird and the GBBC, the most important measure of success is the checklist. Each checklist represents a snapshot in time and space, and each is valuable. Last year’s effort collected 137,998 checklists in a single weekend. How many will we collect this year?
How many countries will collect data? eBird has data from every country in the world, but many countries have only a few submissions. But we know birdwatchers are birding in every part of the world every day. Last year the GBBC recorded data from 110 countries and territories. How many countries will contribute this year?
If you’re participating in the GBBC this year, please let us know. And good luck adding to what will be an impressive list of species tallied this year.