During the weekend of Friday through Feb. 21, people across North America are urged to look at the birds in their backyards and report them over the Internet as part of Audubon Society's Great Backyard Bird Count, one of the world's largest volunteer efforts of its kind.
The count allows people to celebrate their birds, and whether counters are novices or experts, their participation is vital in helping the continent's birds.
"In addition to counting the birds in your own back yard, this remarkable event gives you the opportunity to visit some of our most special places and wildlands," says Bob Perciasepe, Audubon's chief operating officer. "In this way, the Great Backyard Bird Count reminds us that North America's birds consider the whole continent to be one great big back yard. And in a sense, it is our backyard as well."
This is the eighth year of the event, which was developed and managed by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with sponsorship from Wild Birds Unlimited storeowners.
Observors are encouraged to go out into their "Great Backyard" during any or all of the count days and record the highest numbers of each bird species they see. Report sightings at www.birdsource.org/gbbc.
For assistance in reporting sightings, participants can visit the Reno location of Wild Bird Unlimited in Shoppers Square on Plumb Lane and call 775-322-9453 to pick up bird lists ahead of time and return them for reporting.