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After 15 years in North America, the Great Backyard Bird Count is now global. In 2013, anyone, from anywhere on Earth, can participate by visiting ebird.com or birdcount.org and reporting the kinds and numbers of birds they see during the 16th annual count.
Bandelier National Monument will participate with activities Feb. 15-18.
During the 2012 count, participants reported 17.4 million bird observations on 104,000 checklists. In northern states, Snowy Owls thrilled many participants when these striking birds-of-prey ventured south from the Arctic in record numbers.
Participating is easy. Simply watch birds for at least 15 minutes at the location of your choice on one or more of the count days. Estimate the number of birds you see for each species you can identify. You’ll select your location on a map, answer a few questions, enter your tallies, and then submit your data to share your sightings with others around the world.
In 2013, scientists predict that U.S. and Canadian bird watchers will see an influx of Red-breasted Nuthatches and winter finches (such as Common Redpolls) because of scarce food supplies on their northern wintering grounds.