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    Great Backyard Bird Count this Weekend!

    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.

    GBBC

    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.

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    Nate Swick

    Nate Swick

    Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog. A long-time member of the bird blogosphere, Nate has been writing about birds and birding at The Drinking Bird since 2007, but can also be found writing regularly at 10,000 Birds. In the non-digital world, he's an environmental educator and interpretive naturalist. Nate lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children, who are not yet aware that they are being groomed to be birders.
    Nate Swick

    Latest posts by Nate Swick (see all)

    • Dark Hawk 98

      The greatest birding party ever. Here in the Ozarks of Arkansas, many are participating, I being only one. I have quite a few American Goldfinches and the usual plethora of woodpeckers (Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, Pileated).

    • Justin

      the amount of birds showing up on eBird that are wrongly identified by the GBBC is scary.

      • Andrew Haffenden

        We had great and mountain buzzards, yellowhammer, spotted towhee and a flyover veery in Alabama. But the concern is not these obvious errors, we also had lots of purple finches when these birds for actual birders have been very scarce this year, a fact that has been talked about from one end of the state to the other, but reports came from the coat to near the Tennessee border. It’s the mis-IDs of birds that don’t set off a filter that is the main concern to me, as it can mask what is really going on. Citizen science should still be science.

        • David Rankin

          Some reviewers try to compensate by lowering the filters for even relatively common but oft mis-ID birds, but it’s tough to catch everything. Even the rest of the year, there’s still going to be errors that slip through because of mis-ID’s or even just keypunch errors. The more people that participate, the harder it will be to get clean data, but the less the mistakes should affect the integrity of the data.

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