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The Count Ends; the Data Entry Goes On

The four days of the Great Backyard Bird Count are over, but we’re still collecting records from people who haven’t had a chance to enter their sightings online yet.

Audubon senior scientist Rob Fergus is doing a great job at the GBBC blog of answering questions and pointing people toward cool trends (like this map of the great Pine Siskin invasion of 2009), sightings (a Western Grebe in Pennsylvania), photos (279 uploaded so far this year – do you have any to send in?), and videos (like the siskin-in-hand above).

At a meeting this morning we heard from Lab data guru Tom Fredericks that the checklist total was just passing the 60,000 mark. Here at the end of the day, we’re just shy of 69,000, a jump of 15 percent in just 8 hours.

All told, it’s more than 580 species and nearly 8 million birds counted across every state and most of the Canadian provinces, all in just four days. From our perspective, it’s a jaw-dropping example of the power of citizen science. There’s simply no other way to gather this much ecological data in such detail over such a huge area in so short a time.

But we’re still hoping to break the record set last year, with more than 85,000 checklists submitted. So if you counted birds last weekend, send us your sightings! Data entry is open until March 1st. Thanks for helping.

The video is from GBBC participant kam75 who got up close to watch a Pine Siskin demolish a few thistle seeds.

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American Kestrel by Blair Dudeck / Macaulay Library