Birds, Binoculars, and Biodiversity: Count Birds and Contribute to Citizen Science with the Great Backyard Bird Count

By Nugent, Jill | Science Scope, January 2018 | Go to article overview

Birds, Binoculars, and Biodiversity: Count Birds and Contribute to Citizen Science with the Great Backyard Bird Count


Nugent, Jill, Science Scope


Count feathered friends this February 16-19, 2018, as part of the annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)! The global GBBC citizen science event is not limited to backyard bird counting--in fact, you can count birds from a park, your schoolyard, and anywhere else birds are found. The global event began nearly two decades ago and is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada, designed to provide an annual snapshot of bird abundance and biodiversity worldwide (see Figures 1-3).

Project goal: To create a real-time global snapshot of current bird populations.

Your task: Count local birds for at least 15 minutes and report your sightings.

Science discipline: Life science. Participating in the GBBC is easy--you will count birds for 15 minutes (or longer) on one or more days of the GBBC event. After you complete an observation session, simply submit a checklist for that day, time, location, and observation. On the checklist, you'll record the species of birds that you observed, as well as an estimate of the number of individuals of each species observed. The checklist can be submitted on the GBBC website by clicking "Submit Observations" or you can submit observations on the free eBird Mobile app (see "Getting Started"). When you submit data, you are adding to a long-term study of bird populations and changes over time.

Materials you will need:

* a computer with internet access or the eBird mobile app (to report your data)

* binoculars for outdoor bird observation (optional)

* observation sheet and pencil to record outdoor bird observations (see "Optional Data Form")

* bird field guide or the (free) Merlin Bird ID App to help with bird identification in the field (optional)

Data from the GBBC are available online anytime and can be used in classroom inquiry explorations of bird migration patterns and changes in population from year to year, as well as longer term trends, such as trends related to urbanization and habitat loss. Students are able to investigate bird count data before and after major weather events and natural disasters (such as a large hurricane or count data associated with record-setting seasonal temperatures or precipitation). Students may be interested in investigating custom questions related to the local environment, such as "Are different parts of our area attracting more birds than other areas?" Student-generated questions can lead to unlimited follow-up extension activities. After engaging in the GBBC, teachers are able to assess student learning in a multitude of ways, such as:

* writing about the experience in a science notebook, journal, or blog;

* constructing a food web model based on observed bird species;

* creating a poster of the schoolyard habitat (or of a favorite bird species) that was observed;

* compiling a brochure or field guide of birds in your area, based on GBBC experience, observations, and further research;

* depicting data from observations in a visual format;

* hosting a podcast describing the GBBC experience and observations; and

* designing a plan for a schoolyard, backyard, or community habitat that would suit particular bird species. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Birds, Binoculars, and Biodiversity: Count Birds and Contribute to Citizen Science with the Great Backyard Bird Count
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.