Public’s help sought for Feb. 14-17 bird count

All over the world bird watchers will be participating in the 17th annual Great Backyard Bird Count from Friday through Monday, Feb. 14-17.

For at least 15 minutes each of the four days those wishing to participate can count the number of birds sighted. The sightings can be recorded at www.birdcount.org.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon Society and Canada’s Bird Studies will use the information from volunteers everywhere to track the health of bird populations.

Snowy Owls in North America are of interest during the count, as are the invasive Eurasian Collared-Dove. The three organizations are seeking to determine if the Eurasian Collared-Dove has expanded its range.

American Crow populations have been struck by the spread of West Nile disease, and the three organizations are seeking to determine if the insect-eating species are showing up in new areas as the populations rebound.

Cornell Lab Director Dr. John Fitzpatrick said the Great Backyard Bird Count is a way in which citizens can be scientists, assisting the organization with valuable data.

To learn more, visit the event website at www.birdcount.org.

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