2019 Great Backyard Bird Count Should Be “Finchy” and Fun

February 6, 2019

Kids can count the birds in the backyard! The Great Backyard Bird Count is to be held from February 15-18, 2019. Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at www.BirdCount.org. This would be a great classroom or family activity! Here’s How to Participate.

Winter finch “irruption” will be a highlight for many

For release: January 24, 2019

Evening Grosbeak by GBBC participant Ted Schroeder, Oregon.


New York, NY, Ithaca, NY, and Port Rowan, ON —The 22nd Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place from Friday, February 15 through Monday, February 18. Volunteers from around the world are invited to count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at birdcount.org. Anyone with internet access can participate, no matter what their skill level—it’s a great family activity, too.

In the United States and Canada, 2019 bird lists are more likely to include sightings of winter finches and grosbeaks that are moving farther south than usual in what’s called an “irruption.” This type of movement is often sparked by poor cone, seed, and berry crops in parts of Canada.

“This year is a very exciting one for backyard birders in the East, headlined by the largest Evening Grosbeak movement in at least two decades,” says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird program. “From Atlantic Canada to North Carolina, these colorful feeder visitors have been making a splash.”

Although seed crops were better in western Canada, eBird maps still show significant number of Evening Grosbeaks are now being reported in the West all the way down to the border with Mexico. eBird collects bird observations globally every day of the year and is the online platform used by the GBBC.

Pine Grosbeak male by Candace Trost, GBBC participant, Manitoba, Canada.


This also an above-average year for Red Crossbills, Common Redpolls, Pine Grosbeaks, Common and Hoary Redpolls, and Red-breasted Nuthatches.”The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for all bird watchers to contribute to a global database of bird populations,” says Dr. Gary Langham, vice president and chief scientist for the National Audubon Society. “Participants in the Great Backyard Bird Count help scientists understand how things like climate change are impacting bird populations so we can better inform our conservation efforts.”

During the 2018 count, bird watchers from more than 100 countries submitted more than 180,000 bird checklists reporting a record 6,456 species–more than half the known bird species in the world.

Common Redpoll by GBBC participant Kathleen Payne, Minnesota.


“With the finch irruption this year, we’re hoping for record bird numbers and another record-breaking year for Canadian participation,” says Jon McCracken, Bird Studies Canada’s National Program Director. “In search of a bit of relief from our cold winters, many Canadians become ‘snow birds’ at this time of year, and spend a bit of time birding somewhere warm. While I always strongly encourage counts in our own snowy Canadian backyards, don’t forget that you can participate anywhere in the world. Last year, I did my count in Florida’s Corkscrew Swamp, and had a fantastic day.”To learn more about how to take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, visit birdcount.org. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada and is made possible in part by founding sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.

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2014 Pumpkin Palooza Harvest Festival

October 19, 2014

On Sunday, October 26, 2014, at the Victorian Square in downtown Sparks, Nevada, there will be a Pumpkin Palooza festival from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Take the kiddies to play carnival games, show off their Halloween costumes in the costume parade, race pumpkins in the pumpkin derby, compete in the pumpkin pie eating contest or the pumpkin seed spitting contest or the mummy wrapping contest, enjoy the live music and food vendors. There will be a marshmallow shooting range. Storytelling will take place in the ‘haunted’ Glendale Schoolhouse. Get your fortune told.

From the Pumpkin Palooza website:
“Last year, downtown Sparks played host to more than 5,000 people, enjoying good family time. And a heckuva lot of pumpkins! Please join us in thanking the sponsors who made this all possible! And mark your calendar for Sunday, October 26 for an even more exciting time!”

Admission to the festival is free, but you’ll need pocket money for many of the activities. See more details, derby rules, and photos from last year’s festival at the Pumpkin Palooza website.

Pumpkin Palooza is a harvest festival that benefits the Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living.

Check out my blogs about things to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
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Kids can do the Great Backyard Bird Count for 2014

January 26, 2014

Kids can count the birds in the backyard! The Great Backyard Bird Count is to be held February 14–17, 2014. Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at www.BirdCount.org. This would be a great classroom or family activity! Here is an instructional video all about what you would need to do from the website of the GBBC (Great Backyard Bird Count). Here’s How to Participate. Here’s GBBC for Kids!

News Release:
January 16, 2014
New York, New York
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, bird watchers from more than 100 countries are expected to participate in the 17th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), February 14–17, 2014. Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at http://www.BirdCount.org. The information gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers helps track the health of bird populations at a scale that would not otherwise be possible. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada.

“People who care about birds can change the world,” said Audubon chief scientist Gary Langham. “Technology has made it possible for people everywhere to unite around a shared love of birds and a commitment to protecting them.”

In North America, GBBC participants will add their data to help define the magnitude of a dramatic irruption of magnificent Snowy Owls. Bird watchers will also be on the lookout for the invasive Eurasian Collared-Dove to see if it has expanded its range again. GBBC observations may help show whether or not numbers of American Crows will continue to rebound after being hit hard by the West Nile virus and whether more insect-eating species are showing up in new areas, possibly because of changing climate.

Last year’s Great Backyard Bird Count shattered records after going global for the first time, thanks to integration with the eBird online checklist program launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab and Audubon. Participants reported their bird sightings from all 7 continents, including 111 countries and independent territories. More than 34.5 million birds and 3,610 species were recorded—nearly one-third of the world’s total bird species documented in just four days.

“This is a milestone for citizen science in so many respects—number of species, diversity of countries involved, total participants, and number of individual birds recorded. We hope this is just the start of something far larger, engaging the whole world in creating a detailed annual snapshot of how all our planet’s birds are faring as the years go by,” said Cornell Lab director Dr. John Fitzpatrick.

“Canadian participation in the Great Backyard Bird Count has increased tremendously in recent years, and it’s wonderful to see this program growing globally,” said Bird Studies Canada President Dr. George Finney. “The count is introducing unprecedented numbers of people to the exciting field of bird watching.”

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature and make a difference for birds. It’s free and easy. To learn more about how to join the count visit http://www.birdcount.org and view the winning photos from the 2013 GBBC photo contest.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is made possible in part by sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.

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Grandpa Ron and I have a Red-tailed Hawk, Harris Hawk and Northern Harrier that like to visit for dinner. They perch on the wall outside a window. I captured 2 pictures of the Harris Hawk before he had enough of me and flew off.


… and we always have quail, unless they are hiding…


Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
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Space Shuttle Endeavour Trip Across LA Streets

October 16, 2012

The LA Times has a great time-lapse video of the Endeavour‘s journey from LAX to the California Science Center in Exhibition Park for display. Enjoy it here: LATimes video

Check out my other blogs about things to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
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Baby Quail Photos

July 31, 2012

Here are some quail family photos as they gather to run across the patio!

Check out my other blogs about things to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
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Fireworks Display in HD for This Year’s Washington DC Show

July 2, 2012

I’ve shared this through the years now. You are in for a treat if you haven’t done this before — you should check out the the Washington DC fireworks on PBS Television on the Fourth of July! The last three years were just AWESOME!! PBS TV runs the program live and then re-runs it again for those who missed it! It just keeps on getting better and better. The 31st annual broadcast of the Washington DC fireworks will air live in HD on PBS Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings). The facebook page is here!

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

Check out my blogs about things to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
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Alamitos Bay Dredging Project is Fun to Watch!

July 2, 2012

Grandpa Ron and I went for a long walk in Long Beach last Saturday. We spent quite a while watching the dredging operation scooping mud up from the bottom of the Alamitos Bay onto a waiting barge for use in a new Long Beach container complex. The Long Beach Press Telegram reported that 63,000 cubic yards of sediment are to be cleared with two-thirds of it going to the Port of Long Beach. Here’s an article I found from the Contra Costa Times written by Long Beach Press-Telegram Staff Writer Joe Segura. Here’s my short video – complete with a child’s expressed delight in getting a huge splosh of mud flying everywhere! The operator was obviously having his own fun with us! 🙂

Check out my blogs about things to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
🙂


Pacific Islander Festival at Aquarium of the Pacific

June 3, 2012

Grandpa Ron and I visited the Aquarium of the Pacific to get a change of scenery for getting my steps in for today. The Pacific Islander Festival was going full swing. We had a great time! Watched a few hula performances as well as the sea otters, seadragons, jellies, crabs and penguins!

All the hula dancers did great!!

All of the sea otters were very active this afternoon!

I love how graceful the Leafy Seadragons are!

My favorite jellies! West Coast Sea Nettles

He looks hungry!


The penguins swim really fast! It is hard to get a good still photo of them swimming by!

Check out my other blogs about things to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
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Lone Dolphin Is No Longer in Bolsa Chica Wetlands

May 6, 2012

The lone dolphin is no longer in the Bolsa Chica Wetlands – according to the latest post I found at ABC7. I hope it is safe! The Orange County Register article just notes that it hasn’t been seen since Friday….

Check out my other blogs about things to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
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Dolphins in Huntington Harbor & Bolsa Chica Wetlands!

May 2, 2012

While we were zipping up and down Pacific Coast Highway on the way to work-out and back, Grandpa Ron and I wondered what all the people were doing standing around the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. So I googled “What are people looking at in the Bolsa Chica Wetlands?” AND Google told me! How sad that other dolphins might be bullying this poor dolphin! This link has several videos about the dolphins.

NBC LA Dolphin Story

Check out my other blogs about things to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
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