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Well, now you can! Click here to download the songs of the top 5 species in last year’s 2011 Great Backyard Bird Count!

The 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count starts this Friday and lasts through Monday, February 20, 2012. It’s a great opportunity to have some fun, enjoy a winter day, and put your bird watching skills to use for a bigger cause.

Anyone can participate, from anywhere in the United States or Canada. It’s a great activity to do with kids, to pass along your knowledge and love of the outdoors. And the combined records over the years and across the continent help our scientists to compile a long-running picture of bird populations in the depth of winter—a record we can look back on to understand how birds and their environment have changed. Plus, you could win prizes.

The top 5 reported species last year were Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, and American Goldfinch. And that was just the tip of the iceberg: in all, participants reported 596 species and counted more than 11 million birds. Which species will be in the top 5 this year? You can help us find that out! Explore more records, including top 10 lists, maps of observations, and full lists of sightings for each state or province, at our website. Shutterbugs are invited to enter our annual photo contest.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Bird Studies Canada.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

All About Birds is a free resource

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