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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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!
🙂


Costumes, Dressing Up and Role Playing

October 30, 2011

One more time the grandparents.com website has an interesting article about costumes called Why Costumes Are Good for Kids during this Halloween season and why role-playing is good…..

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!
🙂


Aquarium of the Pacific Blue Whale Watch Tour

October 22, 2011

Grandpa Ron and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary all weekend long by revisiting places we went just before our wedding. On Sunday, 10/09/11, we went through the Aquarium of the Pacific. My favorite exhibit is the one containing the Leafy Seadragons. Here are a few photos:

After we finished touring the aquarium we boarded one of their Blue Whale Watching Tours. It was great! We saw many whales – mainly blues but a few others. The trip was great! The aquarium docent was excellent and I think everyone had a great time trying to spot whales first! Here are a few of our photos!

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!
🙂


LA Zoo Carousel of Endangered Animals

October 22, 2011

The Los Angeles Zoo will open their new Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel to the pubic on October 27, 2011. Jerry Moss (A&M Records cofounder) and his wife Ann Moss are the carousel’s major donors. Here are some LA Times Carousel Photos. There are some common animals as well as the endangered ones – and a unicorn! All the animals have friendly faces on purpose. Some have funny stories about their inclusion – like the skunk because there are so many of them “freeloading” at the zoo. If you are looking for something-not-so-scary for the family to enjoy around this Halloween or any time, check out the new carousel from Oct 27 on!

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!
🙂


JetBlue’s Soar with Reading

October 3, 2011

When we were in the airport last weekend to catch a JetBlue plane to Chicago, a billboard caught my eye. It advertises a joint effort between JetBlue and PBS that has been developed to keep kids reading! You’ll find fun reading activities provided by PBS KIDS® and helpful reading tips for children of all reading levels. Check it out! Let’s Read is the main page. There are many activities on the Activities page. It is well worth your time to find some fun ways to get your children reading more enthusiastically!

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!
🙂


Fall Planting for Spring Flowers

September 17, 2011

Yesterday Grandpa Ron and I planted 4 rose bushes – two of them replaced bushes that died earlier this year and two are in new spots. Got the drip system working for them and gave new drips to the near-by roses as well. Today I planted about 20 daffodil bulbs….only have about a hundred left to go!!!! I only hope the critters leave them alone!! It sure would be more fun if we had Austin to help us! Too bad he lives so far away! Ah, well…. It would have been fun to have him throw the bulbs and then together we’d plant them where they landed…

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! 🙂


Wonderful Visit at the FREE Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin

August 28, 2011

Grandpa Ron and I have been traveling every weekend for almost two months! I hope it won’t be so long between posts from now on, but I’m not sure if the traveling is going to settle down soon or not! We experienced first-hand a wonderful family place for those of you in the Madison, Wisconsin area.

We discovered a fun and FREE zoo when we were in Madison two weekends ago for my niece’s wedding. It is called the Henry Vilas Zoo. We got some great pictures!

For the 5k/10k runners and walkers reading this – on Sunday, September 25th at 10 am, the 6th annual Zoo Run Run (a 5k/10k walk and run) will take place past the zoo and through the beautiful Vilas neighborhood.

Here are some videos on the zoo website. The first one is a tour of the zoo.

I’ll post some more photos below.


Seems like the polar bear is saying, ” I forget… Do I even like carrots?”

The promise of another train ride is what prompted us to visit the zoo. However, in our usual fashion, by the time we meandered around the zoo and found the train, the train was already being put to bed for the night. Oh, well, maybe we’ll get another chance some other day! This is a beautiful zoo and a wonderful outing for the famly!

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!


Brand New and Older Baby Quail Photos

August 2, 2011

Six brand new, quail-egg-sized baby quail huddled very close together under the bush last weekend. These individual babies are almost impossible to distinguish from the bark shavings and dirt and each other. Do you see them? Once you see the heads in the one picture, if you go back to the other pictures, you can tell head markings from wings and backs. Have some fun! Then there are a few pictures of older babies and their parents.

Here are some of my previous quail photo blogs.

Check out 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!
🙂

Quail Babies Huddled Together

Quail Babies

Baby Quail with Open Eyes

Baby Quail Copies Adult

Hello!

13 Baby Quail, Mom and Dad AND Rabbit


Teaching Positive Behavior

July 5, 2011

The Long Beach Press-Telegram article No Bullying by Kelly Puente got me thinking about how to get our preschoolers to behave nicely with other kids in their daycare classes and on the playground. The PeaceBuilders program sounds like a good way…. Here’s a Kansas study for Positive Behavior Support. I also have many more links from my post I wrote in 2009 on reducing toddler behavior problems.

The Parents Zone: Reducing Bad Behavior
Childcare: Tyrant Toddler
ezinearticles: Controling Your 3-Year-Old’s Aggressive Behavior
Toddlerstoday: Public Discipline
ehow: Correcting Toddler Behavior Problems
about.com: Behavior Issues – The ABCs
about.com: Improving Behavior
about.com: Analyzing Behavior Issues
about.com: Child Happiness

Most of these links have many other links for further information.
about.com: More Behavior Issues

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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