Discovery Coast Audubon Society of Pacific County is asking all to count birds you see in the local area the weekend of Feb. 15, 16 and 17. Anyone can count birds from wherever they are and enter the tallies online. These reports create an exciting real-time picture of where the birds are across the continent and contribute valuable information for science and conservation.

People of all ages and experience levels are invited to take part wherever they are - at home, in schoolyards, at local parks or wildlife refuges, even counting birds on a balcony. Count the highest number of each species you see during at least a 15 minute period on one or more of the count days. Then enter your tallies on the Great Backyard Bird Count Web site www.birdcount.org.

In 2007, Great Backyard Bird Count participants made history, breaking records for the number of birds reported and the number of checklists. Participants sent in 81,203 checklists tallying 11,082,387 birds of 613 species.

Already, the count results show how the numbers of some bird species have changed in recent years, such as a decline in northern pintails and an increase in hooded mergansers, consistent with trends from the Christmas Bird Count and Breeding Bird Survey.

People who take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count see the results of their efforts in the news and in bird conservation work taking place across the country. Whether the counts occur at home, at schools or nature centers, they're more than engaging and educational science activities for young people and adults, they're a way to contribute to the conservation of birds and habitat nationwide.

For more information on how to participate, including identification tips, photos, bird sounds, maps, and information on over 500 bird species, visit www.birdcount.org.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is sponsored in part by Wild Birds Unlimited. For any questions or to turn in your count call Patricia at 642-1310

Patricia Cruse

President, Discovery Coast Audubon Society of Pacific County

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