Posted in conservation, Oklahoma Wildlife

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Join thousands bird watchers this winter by taking part in one of many surveys locally and nationally to help identify local bird species and numbers. While cold, winter air often leaves us inside to escape the elements for months at a time, bird watching can be done anytime, anywhere and can make for a fun family activity. Here’s how you can take part:

Christmas Bird Count

Happening December 14-January 5, 2017, the Christmas Bird Count is a nationwide effort organized by Audubon. The Christmas Bird Count began in 1900 as one of the earliest recorded efforts in modern wildlife conservation that encouraged citizens to “count birds over the holidays instead of hunt them.”

According to Audubon, the data collected by participants allow researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and more study the long-term health and status of bird populations across the country.

Access Audubon’s resources for the Christmas Bird Count on their website, including how to sign up, resources to get started and recording your findings. You can also find the chapter nearest you by clicking here.

Project FeederWatch

FeederWatch is a conservation project hosted by Cornell University happening November through early April. With data compiled by citizens counting birds stopping by their backyard feeders, nature centers and community areas, FeederWatch data “help scientists track movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.”

By signing up for FeederWatch, participants receive a research kit to get started, which includes a welcome letter, handbook, instructions, a poster with common birds and a bird watching calendar! Click here to learn more about Project FeederWatch.

Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a four-day project collaboration between Audubon and Cornell taking place February 17-20, 2017. In its 18th year, more than 160,000 people have taken part in counting birds in their backyards, neighborhoods, cities and towns.

From Feb. 17-20, participants tally the numbers and kinds of birds seen for at least 15 minutes on one or more days during the count. By signing up to participate on their website, you’ll receive a checklist to get started identifying species and recording your findings.

Just last year, the Great Backyard Bird Count took place in 130 countries and identified more than 5,000 species of birds!

Will you be participating in any bird counts this winter? If you’ve participated in the past, comment and tell us which species you’ve found most often in Oklahoma!