matt mcray snowy owl flight People across Maine along with the rest of the world are asked to take a break this winter and look out their windows during the Great Backyard Bird Count, taking place February 14-17.

The annual Great Backyard Bird Count is the perfect opportunity for participants to relax and enjoy nature wherever they are while being part of a very important study that helps better define bird ranges, populations, migration pathways, and habitat needs. The Count provides a simultaneous
snapshot of the whereabouts of all bird species across the globe.

Although it’s called the Great “Backyard” Bird Count, the count extends well beyond backyards. Many participants choose to head for national parks, nature centers, urban parks, nature trails, even ski resorts. Anyone can participate in this free event and signing up is very easy. The best place
to begin is at the GBBC website, where you can learn more about the event, register, and view prior years statistics.

How popular is the event? Last year the event went global. And worldwide,\ 137,998 checklists were submitted from 111 countries, and 4,258 species were observed.

For more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count, visit Participants are also welcome to pick up bird count worksheets, ask questions, and submit their checklists to Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in South Portland, 771-2473. Wild Birds Unlimited is also a major sponsor of the Great Backyard Bird Count.

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