Friday, February 17, 2012

Great Backyard Bird Count!

Today's the day!  Get out your clipboards, your field guides and your binoculars!  It's time for the Great Backyard Bird Count!  Official dates are 2/17/12-2/20/12. 

Have you ever spotted a limpkin?  Do you even know what a limpkin is?  Well, I didn't either until last year when we participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by the Cornell Institute of Ornithology and the Audubon Society.  It happens every February and for about 4 days. You count the different species of birds in your backyard, your local park, campground or nature preserve.  It's easy!

Just click here and enter your zipcode.  The website will show you what species you are likely to see in February in your area.  Then, get a bird guide (or use the internet to help) and start making those tally marks.  Last year we went to Circle Bar B Ranch.  It is a wonderful park here in the Lakeland/Winter Haven area of Florida.  So many trails to explore, so many animals to see!  We usually see wild turkey there, but only in the fall, so we couldn't count them on our tally sheet--boo.

Bring lots of water on your trails!
A "snakebird" sunbathing. 

After you count, go home and do your part as an amateur ornithologist and enter your data on their website.  There are random drawings for those who enter.  You may win, you may not.  But you will definately get a great experience being out there in God's Country, binoculars in hand, spotting some of the most magnificent creatures on earth and noticing things you never noticed before.  If it wasn't for the GBBC, we would have never met our friend, The Limpkin.

Last year, the GBBC came along at the perfect time--while we were in the m
idst of Apologia's Exploring Creation Through Zoology I:  Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.  Maybe it will fit your science curriculum as well.  If not, squeeze it in for fun!


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