A blog about a first-time house owner learning to maintain his backyard, and thoughts about nature, science, history, and life.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Great Backyard Bird Count: Results

Well, my luck in the Great Backyard Bird Count wasn't so great, but overall, the venture was a resounding success.  This was the first year that the count went beyond the U.S. and Canada, and reports came in from Antarctica to Afghanistan and beyond.  The raw numbers, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: reports of over 25 million individual birds of 3,138 species from 101 countries.  The Cornell Chronicle report mentions the most common species and a couple of findings of note, including some European birds that were apparently transported across the Atlantic by the same storm system that forced Hurricane Sandy to make her odd westward jog and landfall.

There's also a really neat site run by the Lab of Ornithology where you can see maps and tables of the reports.  Want to see where bald eagles were during that weekend in mid-February?  There's a map for that.  Name the species, and you can see its range...worldwide.    You can also see the reports for individual countries, states/provinces, and counties.  Out of curiosity, I looked up the reports for Tompkins County.  There were no reports from Freeville, but there were quite a few from across the county.  Among the birds spotted: common birds, like mourning doves, crows, blue jays, cardinals, a robin (the first robin of spring?), tufted titouse, house sparrow, mallard ducks, and more.  But there were birds that I haven't seen around here, or birds I haven't heard of: Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Cooper's Hawk, Pine Siskin, Peregrine Falcon, Iceland Gull, and a Bald Eagle.  In all, 78 species were reported just in my county.  You can visit the Great Backyard Bird Count website to find the birds spotted in your area or anywhere around the world.

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