Did you participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count?
There’s still time. (More on that below.) But preliminary numbers are in. As of 8:10 p.m. Friday (Feb. 26), more than 93,300 checklists had been submitted, 597 species had been reported, and more than 10.8 million individual birds had been counted.
Although they aren’t seen in big numbers in the Northland, the northern cardinal was the most-reported species overall in the United State and Canada. In Canada alone, No. 1 was the black-capped chickadee. The American crow was No. 3, and the bird count coordinators note that crows were seen in the highest numbers since the West Nile virus appeared in North America. The state with the most birds reported was Florida, and the city was St. Petersburg, Fla., but this was largely because of a roost of American topping (gasp!) 1 million birds in St. Petersburg. Is that really possible? How does one count 1 million birds? Count the wings and divide by two?
Tennessee, Connecticut, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, West Virginia and the provinces of Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario all had record numbers of checklists submitted.
I keep writing in the past tense, but it’s not over. Although the counting period was Feb. 12-15, if you kept a count but haven’t submitted your list, you still have a couple of days left. Monday is the deadline.
You can submit your list and learn much more about the results at the Great Backyard Bird Count’s Web site, here: www.birdsource.org/gbbc
Your bird photos and observations welcome before, during and after March 1 here: firstname.lastname@example.org.