The National Audubon Society together with Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada has earmarked next weekend as Great Backyard Bird Count, urging people everywhere to count the birds they can sight from their backyards, neighborhoods, nearby park, or anywhere they go - Sacramento Bee writes.
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The organizers are not really asking anyone to spend the whole day out counting bird sightings, but a 15-minute window is okay for the task to get done – but the larger the number of people that can get involved in this largest citizen-science project the better for the team behind the project.
The information submitted only by individual birders will be used by the science team to track changes in bird distribution, while also having the opportunity to determine the impact of El Nino and strange weather patterns of birds.
"It is important to participate because the more eyes and ears we have out there, the better picture we can get of where wintering birds are located, which species are in a given area and how their population is doing," said Krystal Kyer, executive director of the Tahoma Audubon Society.
Kyer revealed that committed scientists and funding exist for the project, but it is still open to everybody to participate considering that watching and counting birds does not require any special training, and it can be done virtually anywhere.
According to her, the more people help in counting birds during the Great Backyard Bird Count, the better it will be for the research team to start charting the trends and patterns that may have otherwise remained unnoticed in birds’ distribution and populations.
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Jon McCracken, national program manager at Bird Studies Canada, added that scientists are learning to rely on the participation of enthusiasts from the general public to collect reliable data at a fast pace and large scale they never knew possible – further asking everyone to help out with the project.