Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This weekend, count birds

Here’s a fun weekend activity for the family. It’s The Great Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society. Go to the web site to learn how you and your kids can participate. You can print out a bird checklist for your area, then spend 15 minutes counting birds in one location anytime between February 15 and 18, then go online to submit your results. If you’ve got a weekend getaway planned you can do multiple bird counts in different locations and at different times, so that your children see how different kinds of birds are attracted to different kinds of habitat. (If you’re not a seasoned birder that’s okay. You can grab a bird book, do your best to identify as many birds as possible and when there’s some little brown bird that baffles you, simply don’t count it and check a box on your submission form letting count organizers know that you are not reporting everything you saw.)

There are kids activities and bird facts on the web site too. If you choose to do this, feel free to leave a comment on this post after your weekend count and report the birds you saw and where you did your count. We’ll be counting here on Monday and I’d love to let Will compare our bird sightings with families in other locations – even if you’re just on the other side of town.

**One other note, for local moms to be: You can spend Valentine's day at this event:
birthNetwork-Columbus presents "What is a Doula?" 7 p.m. Thursday Feb. 14 at North Columbus Branch Library. Learn about professional labor support and how they can help you have a safe and satisfying birth. Meet local doulas and enjoy free chocolate.


Annie Addington said...

OK, so I'm commenting to myself, just in case any of you decided to join in the bird count and check in here.

We only lasted the minimum 15 minutes in our back yard, where we have been neglecting to put out bird seed this winter on a regular basis. Will was enthusiastic about the whole thing for about five minutes, trying desperately to view some cedar wax wings through binoculars. Then he abandoned the count for a bit of T-ball.

So here in our Columbus, Georgia, backyard, we submitted this meager count -- 15 birds in 15 minutes:

Mourning Dove 3
American Robin 2
Cedar Waxwing 6
Red-winged Blackbird 4

(Will also counted an airplane and a couple I-was-just-making-up-a-joke birds)

shannon said...

I missed this! However, we seem to be the migrating birds stop-over or something. A week or so ago, we saw thousands of birds in our trees at once. It mesmerized us! They also come in the spring, eat a million berries off our bushes, and fly away , pooping all over everything!
The kids have noticed birds flying in formation on our car commutes, lately, too. The 2 year old said, "that's bootiful, Mama!".