The Four-day Backyard Bird Count starts tomorrow. If the next four days are anything like the last four months, my count will be quick and easy. The highest number of birds I have seen since December in my yard is 5 juncos, but mostly it has been a single male and female pair.
So, I could just submit that small count and be a participant. Or, I could go anyplace and conduct a count.
For instance, a walk around Long Pond would generate a better list; an hour spent at Quidi Vidi Lake would generate a more respectable list; or even a trip to Cape Spear. There are many options, but the most important thing is to participate.
The weather may be a factor over the next couple of days, potentially increasing the number of birds going to feeders. However, it may impede getting out to other areas. Imagine if all the birders in St. John's actively got out to count birds around the area. We could create a lasting snapshot of February birds seen in the vicinity for future reference.
One nice aspects of the Great Backyard Bird Count is that this year's submissions can be made through eBird, and they will automatically be entered into the count. That is good motivation to set up an eBird account and begin tracking future sightings through this useful record-keeping tool.
Another interesting aspect of the Count is the photo contest. With all of the great bird photographers here, there should be some awesome shots taken over the next four days. While we here in St. John's can't possibly submit the most lists, we could make a significant contribution to the photo contest.
For one four-day weekend, let's turn birding into birding and documenting our finds. For more information about the bird count, visit: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/canada